India's infant mortality rate declines
New Delhi: In a major achievement, the country has registered a significant decline in Infant Mortality Rate (IMR). According to Sample Registration System (SRS) bulletin, India has brought down the death of children under one year — from 37 per 1,000 live births in 2015 to 34 per 1,000 live births in 2016.
"India has also recorded a major drop in the birth cohort, which has for the first time come down to below 25 million. India has registered 90,000 fewer infant deaths in 2016 as compared to 2015. The total number of estimated infant deaths has come down from 9.3 lakh in 2015 to 8.4 lakh in 2016," the SRS bulletin stated.
As per the report, Kerala continues to have the lowest incidence, 10 deaths per 1,000 live births, Maharashtra, which dropped two points to 19 per 1000 births.
According to the finding of the report, the sharpest falls in infant mortality rate were recorded in urban areas of Bihar and Uttarakhand, while Bihar's urban areas had 29 per 1,000 births compared to 44 in 2015, Uttarakhand had 29 deaths compared to 44 per 1,000 in 2015.
Commenting on the findings of the report, Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said, "The state continues to register a decline in infant mortality rate by giving maximum importance to the maternal and child healthcare. It has been achieved by ensuring removal of inter-district and intra-district disparities by effectively utilising National Health Mission support."
"We have broken a new record. This time the infant mortality has declined by two points, which shows that our schemes to prevent infant deaths are showing results," Radhakrishnan told Millennium Post. Tamil Nadu has recorded 17 deaths per 1,000 live births in comparison to 19 deaths 1,000 live births in 2015.
According to the SRS bulletin, the gender gap in India for child survival is also reducing steadily. The gender difference between female and male IMR has now reduced to more than 10 per cent, giving a major boost to the 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao' scheme of the government.