Infant mortality rate in India is still very high

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The past 75 years have been a big challenge for the government in terms of infant deaths in India. However, it is continuously decreasing. According to the figures issued by the government, in 1951, where 146 deaths occurred per 1000 newborns.

Due to the lack of proper protection of newborns, many children in the world go into the lap of death. The infant mortality rate in India is very high. However, the government has made meaningful efforts to stop this, due to which the infant mortality rate has come down in the country. According to Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, the country is moving towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. He has said that SRS 2020 has shown a steady decline in infant mortality rate since 2014.

The past 75 years have been a big challenge for the government in terms of infant deaths in India. However, it is continuously decreasing. According to the figures issued by the government, in 1951, where 146 deaths occurred per 1000 newborns. Whereas in 2022 this number has come down to 28. These figures are related to those children who die within one year of birth. In the past decade, the infant mortality rate has declined by 35 percent in rural areas and 34 percent in urban areas.

The neonatal mortality rate also decreased by two points from 22 per 1000 live births in 2019 to 20 in 2020. The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) for the country has also come down from 2.1 in 2019 to 2.0 in 2020 as per the report. Bihar recorded the highest TFR (3.0) while Delhi, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal recorded the lowest TFR (1.4) during 2020. According to this, six states – Union Territories of Kerala (4), Delhi (9), Tamil Nadu (9), Maharashtra (11), Jammu and Kashmir (12) and Punjab (12) have already achieved the SDG target of neonatal mortality. have received. Eleven states and union territories (UTs) as per the report – Kerala (8), Tamil Nadu (13), Delhi (14), Maharashtra (18), Jammu and Kashmir (17), Karnataka (21), Punjab (22), West Bengal (22), Telangana (23), Gujarat (24) and Himachal Pradesh (24) have already achieved the SDG target of U5MR.

According to the Sample Registration System (SRS) Statistical Report 2020, the under-five mortality rate (U5MR) in India has seen a triple digit (annual reduction rate of 8.6 per cent) since 2019. According to the report, the under-five mortality rate in India has come down from 35 per 1,000 live births in 2019 to 32 in 2020. According to the report, the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) has also registered a double-digit decline from 30 per 1000 live births in 2019 to 28 per 1000 live births in 2020, with an annual decline rate of 6.7 per cent.

As per the report, the maximum IMR has been observed in Madhya Pradesh (43) and minimum in Kerala (6). As per the report the IMR in the country has come down to 28 in 2020. Which was 37 in 2015. There has been a nine point decline over the past five years and an annual average decline of about 1.8 points. It said that despite this decline, one out of every 35 babies nationally, one out of every 32 babies in rural areas and one out of every 52 babies in urban areas still die within one year of birth. . According to the report, the sex ratio at birth in the country has increased by three points to 907 in 2018-20 as against 904 in 2017-19. Kerala has the highest sex ratio at birth (974) while Uttarakhand has the lowest (844).

India has controlled the infant mortality rate in the last five decades even though progress has been made in the medical field. But even today the death of infants is a big question. At present, 28 out of every 1000 babies die before the age of one year. Due to the lack of health related things in the country, this problem increases further. Governments have implemented many schemes to deal with this problem. But due to lack of basic health facilities and lack of awareness, the infant mortality rate has not come down completely. Even now many children die in the absence of proper nutrition. Various types of problems also arise due to lack of education and lack of trained nurses and midwives in rural areas.

According to the World Health Organisation, to reduce the infant mortality rate, mother’s milk should be fed within one hour of birth. The thick yellow milk of the mother has the maximum amount of anti-infection element. Which is called colostrum. It contains up to 10 percent protein with a large amount of vitamin A. Which is the best way to increase the immunity of the body. Babies should be exclusively breastfed till 6 months. In which no other milk, food items, beverages and even water should be given except mother’s milk. This protects the child from diarrhoea, pneumonia, asthma and allergies.

This leaves India’s health expenditure as a percentage of GDP well below the world average and other developing and developed countries. India’s expenditure is more than countries like Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan. But compared to countries such as the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Finland, the Netherlands and Australia, which spend more than 9 per cent of their total GDP on health, India lags far behind. Similarly, Japan, Canada, Switzerland, France, Germany spend at least 10 percent of their total GDP on healthcare. At the same time, America spends about 16 percent of its GDP on health. Health allocation in the budget should emphasize on improving the public health system and technology. Health care infrastructure, especially in rural areas, needs more attention.

The estimated expenditure of the Department of Health and Family Welfare in 2023-24 is Rs 86,175 crore, which is about 2% of the total expenditure of the Central Government for 2023-24. This amount is less, it has to be increased, only then the death of new born babies can be stopped in India. Child safety is not only the government’s responsibility but everyone’s responsibility. Everyone will have to unite and come forward for this, only then we will be able to come on top in comparison to other countries in the matter of safety of the children of our country.

Ramesh Sarraf Dhamora

(The author is a freelance journalist accredited by the Government of Rajasthan. His articles are published in many newspapers of the country)

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