Massive drop in state infant mortality rate - The New Indian Express

Massive drop in state infant mortality rate

Published: 07th November 2012 08:56 AM

Last Updated: 07th November 2012 08:56 AM

Fewer babies in the 0-5 years age group died in Tamil Nadu last year compared to the year before last, according to a recent report by the Sample Registration System (SRS). The report released by the Registrar General of India (RGI) in New Delhi shows that the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) dropped by as much as 46 per cent in Tamil Nadu in 2011 — the biggest slide anywhere in the country.

As against 52 deaths per 1,000 live births in the 0-5 years age group in Tamil Nadu in 2010, mortality rate dropped to 28 in 2011.

Other states that brought down their IMR by a significant margin include West Bengal (37 per cent) and Maharashtra (35 per cent). However, the national tally went down by just a bit, indicating that there were quite a few poor performing states. At the all-India level, IMR tapered by three points — from 47 in 2010 to 44 in 2011.

Dr Rohit Agrawal, president of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP), attributed Tamil Nadu’s performance to its better healthcare delivery system, which reaches the grassroots.

“Most infant deaths occur in India, which is sad because they are avoidable. Just five factors account for nearly 1.5 million child deaths in the country in a year — pneumonia; premature and low birth weight; diarrhoeal diseases; neo-natal infections and birth asphyxia; and birth trauma,” says Agrawal.

States with the lowest IMR include Goa and Manipur (both 11) and Kerala (12). Madhya Pradesh has the highest IMR of 59 followed by UP and Odisha (both 57).

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