Care Protocol for Babies 

Care Protocol for Babies 

This article covers “Daily Current Affairs” and the topic details “Care Protocol for Babies”. The topic “Care Protocol for Babies” has relevance in the “Social Justice” section of the UPSC CSE exam.

For Prelims:

What is the neonatal period?

What are IMR, MMR, NMR?  

For Mains:  

GS2:  Social Justice

Why in the news?

Earlier this week, Lucy Letby, a former British nurse, was sentenced to life imprisonment in what has been described as the most egregious case of child serial killing in the history of the United Kingdom.


Patient Safety Measures in India

  • Patient safety is a cornerstone of public healthcare, holding immense importance. According to the document titled ‘National Patient Safety Implementation Framework (2018-2025)‘ by the Union Health Ministry, patient safety refers to ensuring that patients are shielded from unnecessary harm or potential harm related to the provision of healthcare.
  • In India, patients’ safety is safeguarded through a multifaceted but fragmented legal framework. 
    • The foundational principles of patient safety are enshrined in the Hippocratic Oath. 
    • The Consumer Protection Act of 2019 addresses concerns regarding medical negligence and inadequacy of medical services.
    • The Clinical Establishment Act of 2010 further delineates patients’ legal rights.
    • Both the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority and the Drugs Controller General of India oversee regulatory mechanisms to ensure patients’ rights regarding medications and medical devices, preventing overcharging and ensuring protection.


What is the neonatal period? 

  • The neonatal period, spanning the first four weeks (28 days) of life, is characterized by rapid changes, including the establishment of feeding patterns and parental bonding. 
  • While it’s a time of essential development, the heightened vulnerability to infections and the early potential for detecting birth defects highlight the need for vigilant care during these crucial early weeks.


Neonatal Issues:

  • Persisting Neonatal Mortality: 
    • Despite a global decline in neonatal deaths from 5 million in 1990 to 2.4 million in 2019, newborns continue to face significant mortality risks. 
    • The first 28 days of life are critical, as evidenced by the fact that 47% of all under-five deaths in 2019 occurred during this period. 
    • Disturbingly, nearly one-third of neonatal deaths happen on the day of birth, and around three-quarters occur within the initial week.
  • Factors Contributing to Neonatal Deaths: 
    • Several factors contribute to neonatal mortality. These include pre-term birth, intrapartum-related complications (such as birth asphyxia), infections, and birth defects. 
    • These conditions often arise due to a lack of quality care during and immediately after birth.


Addressing Challenges: 

  • Role of Midwife-led Continuity of Care: 
    • Research suggests that midwife-led continuity of care (MLCC), provided by professionally trained and regulated midwives adhering to international standards, can significantly impact neonatal outcomes. 
    • Women receiving MLCC are 16% less likely to experience infant loss and 24% less likely to have pre-term births.
  • Importance of Prompt Medical Care: .
    • Families are advised to seek prompt medical care if newborns display danger signs, such as feeding difficulties, reduced activity, breathing issues, fever, convulsions, jaundice within 24 hours of birth, yellowing of palms and soles, or coldness. 
    • Immediate attention can mitigate health risks for newborns.
  • Vital Role of Birth Registration and Vaccination: 
    • Birth registration and timely vaccination are crucial for newborns’ well-being. Families are encouraged to register births and adhere to national vaccination schedules. 
    • These steps contribute to comprehensive healthcare and disease prevention for neonates.
  • Enhanced Care for Vulnerable Newborns: 
    • Certain newborns require heightened attention and care both during hospitalization and at home to minimize health risks. .
    • Tailored support and monitoring are essential to ensure their optimal health and development.


Additional Information: 


Term Definition Purpose and Importance 2019 Data
(Infant Mortality Rate)
The number of deaths of infants under one year of age per 1,000 live births in a given population within a specific time frame. Measures the overall health and well-being of infants within a society. 30/1000
MMR (Maternal Mortality Rate) The number of maternal deaths (deaths of pregnant or postpartum women) per 100,000 live births in a given population and time period. Assesses the quality of maternal healthcare and the well-being of women during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. 8.1
NMR (Neonatal Mortality Rate) The number of deaths of newborn infants (neonates) within the first 28 days of life per 1,000 live births in a given population. Provides insight into newborn health and survival during the vulnerable initial weeks of life. 22/1000


Sources: Explained | What is the care protocol for babies in India? – The Hindu


Yojna daily current affairs eng med 30th August 2023

Q1. With reference to Mortality Rates, consider the following statements: 

  1. IMR (Infant Mortality Rate) is the number of deaths of infants under one year old per 1,000 live births. 
  2. MMR (Maternal Mortality Rate) is the number of maternal deaths per 1000 live births. 
  3. NMR (Neonatal Mortality Rate) is the number of deaths of newborns within the first 28 days of life per 1,000 live births.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 1 and 3 only

(c) 3 only 

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (b) 

Q2. Explain the concept of the neonatal period and its significance in infant health. Elaborate on the factors contributing to neonatal mortality and the strategies to address these challenges.

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