UNICEF and Kerala state branch of Indian Medical Association (IMA) joined hands on Friday to promote safe and healthy practices in the state for improving maternal and child health.
From now, doctors in the state may prescribe good practices, besides medicines, in their prescription note to the patients, in an attempt to prevent diseases and infections.
For example, a gynaecologist may now advice a pregnant woman to eat iron rich food like leafy vegetables and pulses for safe delivery and for a healthy baby, before prescribing iron tablets to her in the prescription note.
The doctors will also counsel the patients on these healthy practices.
The UNICEF-IMA partnership was jointly announced by Dr AV Jayakrishnan, President of Kerala state IMA and Job Zachariah, Chief of UNICEF of Kerala and Tamil Nadu at a function in Kozhikode.
Mr.Zachariah said that the infant mortality rate, maternal mortality ratio and malnutrition rate among children in Kerala can be reduced to international levels.
‚ÄúThis can be achieved by reducing diseases and infections among children and mothers by adopting six simple practices in our families. These are washing hands with soap, drinking boiled water, full immunization of children, in-take of iron-rich food and iron tablets, breastfeeding of infants within one hour of birth and exclusive breastfeeding of infants for the first six months,‚ÄĚ he added.
Describing the partnership as a giant leap in the health scenario of the state, Jayakrishnan said, "As part of the partnership, IMA and UNICEF will orient all the 35,000 doctors of the association in the state, on the importance of prescribing good practices to their patients, besides medicines".
"Each branch of the total 103 spread in all the 14 districts in Kerala will adopt ten schools for promoting behavioural practices among students who will carry the message to homes", he said.
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