PESHAWAR: Though the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has increased the fiscal budget for health by almost 31 percent (Rs 49.27 billion this time), medical experts say the sector of maternal, newborn and child healthcare also needs more funding. Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial manager Dr Sahib Gul said that they received funds from the federal government under the Public Sector Development Programme. He said the budget allocated by the provincial government for health sector had a meager amount for MNCH. “If we are serving people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the provincial government should also support our MNCH programme,” he said. He said that the provincial government should allocate specific funds for maternal and child health. Dr Sahib Gul said the MNCH employees were working in all parts of the province, providing facilities to mothers and children, but their services were not being regularised. “The KP Health Department performed 32,000 skilled birth deliveries last year, and our MNCH programme alone did 31,000 skilled birth deliveries. We cannot compete with the health department in terms of facilities and infrastructure,” Dr Sahib Gul said. The Centre for Communication Programmes-Pakistan (CCP-P) — a non-government organisation working in the spheres of advocacy, human rights and health – said that Pakistan was one of the countries with a very high maternal and child mortality rates. In a report, the CCP-P says that about 260 out of 100,000 mothers die during deliveries, while approximately 69 babies out 1,000 die within the first year of their birth. The organisation has also published a booklet on decrees of Muslim, Christian and Hindu scholars about importance of the mother and child healthcare.