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The Full form of SNCU is Special Newborn Care Units. SNCUs are being established in India at district and sub-district hospitals with annual delivery to provide care for sick newborns, that is, all type of neonatal care except major surgeries and assisted ventilation. It is a separate unit and in close proximity to the labour room, and are managed by adequately trained doctors, staff nurses, healthcare workers and support staff to provide 24*7 services. Globally, an estimated 130 million babies are born each year, and about 4 million of them die in their neonatal period. A quarter of the global neonatal deaths occur in India. In India, the infant mortality rate has remained almost unchanged since the early nineties, and the near-static rate of neonatal mortality, despite introducing several primary care-based strategies and programmes at the national level during that period, is considered to be the major reason for this. The aim of SNCUs was to create a group of specially-trained young female volunteers (whom we called ‘Newborn Aides’). These volunteers were drawn from among a stable local population. Trained Newborn Aides substantially alleviated human-resource constraint for SNCUs and Sick Newborn Stabilization units in smaller peripheral hospitals for care of sick newborns at an affordable cost.

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