According to an official report, 1,000 pregnant women and more than 88,000 newborns and children under the age of five died in Punjab’s basic health units (BHUs) and rural health centres (RHCs) in 2021, Asif Chaudhry reports for Dawn.

The report is prepared by the Punjab government’s Planning and Development Board on the Integrated Reproductive Maternal Newborn, Child Health and Nutrition programme (IRMNCH). The Punjab government launched the programme at primary-level healthcare facilities to reduce maternal, newborn, and child morbidity and mortality, promote family planning services, and improve women’s and children’s nutritional status.

“These are alarming figures requiring immediate and serious attention of the project [IRMNCH] team and other stakeholders,” the report says.


The report further states, “1,000 maternal deaths were reported to the IRMNCH programme in 2021, that is quite a high figure considering the public health significance and sensitivity of this issue.”

In addition, during 2021 in Punjab, 25,208 deaths of under-five children were reported to the IRMNCH programme “These included 13,706 neonatal, 8,045 infant and 3,457 under-5 children’s deaths,” the report said.

In addition to these deaths, there were 62,813 stillbirths reported in Punjab in 2021.