MTR: Sarpang’s 11th Plan target of achieving zero infant mortality stands at risk. In 2014, the dzongkhag reported 15 infant deaths.

Some of the main reasons cited for infant deaths were late reporting to hospital, young and new mothers giving birth, socio-cultural factors, birth complication, infections, congenital deformities and difficult terrain among others.

While the dzongkhag emphasized on re-enforcing and providing intensive awareness programmes, it was requested that the target be reviewed because zero death was not achievable.

Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay insisted that the target remain as it is.

“The number is concerning and dzongkhag has to put in its best effort to minimize it. Government and health ministry will provide every possible assistance,” said Prime Minister.

Of the Nu 11.86 million worth of activities that will be dropped from the current plan, ‘advocacies’ had the highest allocation of Nu 5.750 million.

“It is lack of awareness because of which we’ve infant mortality rate. The activities cannot be dropped,” added Prime Minister.

Infant mortality rate is the only key performance indicator that is at risk in the dzongkhag. 36 key performance indicators have been achieved and 39 are on track.

Sarpang is well on the track to achieving all the Plan targets.

In the dzongkhag’s key result area of enhanced rural household income and food sufficiency, Saprang has surpassed the target.

Production of milk, chicken, egg, pork, fish, chevon and honey have also trebled. For instance, the target of milk production was less than 2,000 metric tonnes. The dzongkhag produced 4,382 metric tonnes of milk. Similarly, egg production increased to 3.2 million dozens against the target of 83,333.3 dozens.

Nirmala Pokhrel | Gelephu