PESHAWAR: Swat valley is ahead of all other districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in terms of deliveries conducted at government health facilities as an official of the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) claimed that their campaign raised awareness among people to use health facilities for deliveries. According to figures released by health authorities, a total of 52,655 deliveries have been conducted at state-run health facilities across the province during the first quarter of the year 2016. The District Health Information System (DHIS), which covers the entire province, reports that Swat district has reported 7,343 deliveries conducted at government facilities, while Kohistan district has reported the least numbers, i.e 82. Among other districts, Swabi has reported 5342 deliveries, Bannu 5319, Malakand 3295, DI Khan 3074, Charsadda 3048, Mardan 2920, Kohat 2884, Nowshera 2138, Lower Dir 2090, Buner 1878, Mansehra 1852, LakkiMarwat 1754, Chitral 1463, Upper Dir 1398, Battagram 1195, Karak 981, Shangla 895, Peshawar 856, Abbottabad 840, Hangu 816, Haripur 809, Tank 286 and Torghar 97. During the year 2015, the health facilities from all over the province had reported 179595 deliveries. Talking to this scribe, MNCH Provincial Coordinator Dr Sahib Gul credited his organisation with the highest number of deliveries at health facilities in Swat. He said the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government has made history by starting cash incentives for mothers delivering babies at health facilities. “Now the provincial government pays Rs 2,700 to a mother delivering baby at a health facility. This cash incentive for mothers is only provided in KP, not any other province of Pakistan,” he added. He also said the cash incentive is not provided at teaching hospitals, but the rule is applied in all other health facilities. Dr Iqbal Begum, head of Gynae Department at the Hayatabad Medical Complex, told this correspondent that a normal delivery can be handled by a trained health worker at home, but other cases need to be taken to health facilities. “A woman should use health facilities for delivery cases in order to have timely information if they have any disease during pregnancy and childbearing period,” she added. The Journal of Pakistan Medical Association has also concluded in a research that there are many families who still choose to deliver at homes and home deliveries pose a high risk of maternal mortality. The association says that family tradition and poor socioeconomic condition appear to be the main factors behind opting for deliveries at homes.