JAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir has fared better than many other states in the country with regard to the Infant Mortality Rate.
In 2013, the state recorded an Infant Mortality rate (IMR) of 37 as compared to the national average of 40.
"The infant mortality rate in the state has come down from 39 in 2012 to 37 in 2013 and is recorded better than the national average of 40 as revealed by latest data of Sample Registration System 2014 bulletin.
"Efforts are on to further reduce it by laying stress on facility and home based newborn care," Dr Arun Sharma, Programme Manager, National Health Mission, state health society Jammu and Kashmir said.
He said that to achieve the goal of infant mortality rate of less than 24 by 2017, the state under National Health Mission had adopted various strategies.
"The reduction in Infant Mortality Rate has become possible due to strengthening of facility based newborn care and home based newborn care programmes. Under these interventions, the state has established 15 Special Newborn Care Units in district hospitals, 76 Newborn Stabilisation Units in community health centers and 274 baby care corners in different hospitals across the state," he said.
Each of the Special Newborn Care Units have been provided with one Pediatrician, four doctors, five staff nurses, one lab technician and one data entry operator for their smooth functioning.
The capacity building of doctors and staff nurses in the neonatal care is also being carried out. Till date 112 doctors and staff nurses working in special Newborn Care Units have been trained by National Collaborative Centre for FBNC, New Delhi, he said.
In addition to these, utilisation of ASHA workers services in ensuring institutional deliveries and home based newborn care has also played significant role in bringing down the IMR, he said.
"The state has been incentivised twice on the recommendations of 13th Finance Commission, the Ministry of Finance, GoI for reduction in Infant Mortality. First instalment was for an amount of Rs 15.36 crore and second was for Rs 11.67 crore," he said.
The amount awarded under 13th Finance Commission is being utilised for strengthening of the health institutions for providing better Child Care so that the Infant Mortality can be brought further brought down.