Although 127 eminent personalities from various fields were conferred the Padma awards on the occasion of Republic Day, it is only Neelam Kler from the entire medical fraternity who has been named for the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award.
The Padma awards were announced on the eve of the 65th Republic Day Saturday.
Kler, an eminent neonatologist at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in the national capital, is a pioneer in developing neonatal emergency transport programme for extremely sick babies.
It is because of Kler's continuous efforts that the survival rate of preterm babies (birth before 37 weeks) has increased to 90 percent and infection rates fallen to 9.8 per 1,000 admissions.
She is the first to start a three-year post-doctoral programme in neonatology under the National Board of Examinations.
Kler has worked in close tandem with the National Neonatology Forum as secretary and later as president (2009-2010).
This gave her an opportunity to work on comprehensive goals to attain optimum neonatal health in the country by promoting science of neonatology, making recommendations for neonatal care, defining standards of care and promoting education.
She has also worked with other stake holders (United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund, World Health Organisation, etc.) on various national health programmes regarding maternal and newborn's health.
She is on the panel of "Newborn and child health strategy" of the ministry of health and family welfare (2012-15).