National Neonatal Forum Karnataka chapter and UNICEF HFO launch SOP booklet for Maternal and Child Healthcare during COVID

Bengaluru, July 31, 2020.

The National Neonatal Forum Karnataka chapter and UNICEF HFO together have taken the initiative to write a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) booklet for ‘Antenatal, Intrapartum, Postnatal and New born Care during COVID-19’. Medical bodies like the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP), The Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI), Karnataka Society Obstetrics and Gynaecology Association (KSOG) and Bangalore Society of Obstetrics & Gynaecology (BSOG) and many experts across the country and internationally have contributed to this book.

On 24th July 2020, all the above-mentioned bodies came together online and launched this E-Book. NNF Karnataka Chapter Secretary Dr Prashanth Gowda met the honourable Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa at his office, where he unveiled and signed the hard copy of the booklet. The Chief Minister congratulated the team for this effort and ensured his full support for the initiative.

This SOP Booklet is made available free of cost for all and training of all the nurses, doctors, healthcare workers based on this SOP will be initiated across the state in all SNCUs (Special New-born care Units). This E book will be uploaded on the website of NNF and all the other medical bodies who have contributed to it.

Speaking on this initiative of launching the booklet, Dr Prashanth Gowda, NNF Karnataka Chapter Secretary, Consultant Paediatrician and Neonatologist, Motherhood Hospital said “Since the first COVID case was detected, there have been so many new developments regarding research and information about COVID-19. The virus is still very new and there is a lot of confusion about maternal and neonatal care during this phase. There are many SOPs made available to healthcare staff by WHO and various academic and technical agencies like ICMR based on latest evidence. While making this book we have corroborated all these recent evidences to make one comprehensive ready reckoner for all doctors and staff nurses to comprehend”

Speaking on the impact of COVID 19 on maternal and neonatal care Dr Gowda said “The existing burden of maternal mortality estimates to 30000 in the country and 750 in the state of Karnataka. Similarly, approximately 9,18,000 infants die nationally and 24,000 infants die in the state due to birth

& infancy related illnesses. Due to COVID-19, it is estimated additional 37% mothers and children die according to the Lancet Article. A number of healthcare employees have also become positive and many have lost their lives. The cases in the country and Karnataka especially are rising. For the safety of mothers, babies and healthcare staff we decided to launch the SOP”

Dr Gowda further elaborated on the importance of this book for healthcare staff during this pandemic he said “The main purpose of developing this document is to ensure that all the staff working in Government SNCUs are trained on these available guidance and recent evidences at the earliest. This will help support the staff especially in triaging, depending on the needs of the patient. It also enables the doctors to refer the flowcharts & ensure patients can be referred to appropriate facilitythereby limiting the unnecessary expenditures on the already distressed additional financial cause due

to COVID-19 for the state. It also gives information about vaccines that are being developed by different Pharmaceutical companies.  I would like to add that this book is only the first version, we plan to update as new evidence generates with time”

The launch of this book has been highly appreciated by the Karnataka Government. Along with the Chief Minister, the Deputy CM Dr Ashwath Narayan, Shri Sriramulu, Health Minister and Dr Sudhakar, the Medical Minister have completely supported and encouraged the NNF and other bodies. They appreciated the efforts of NNF Karnataka President Dr Kotturesha and UNICEF HFO consultant Dr Sanjeev Upadhyay for their efforts to bring all stakeholders together for this noble cause.

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