New Thrust to improve – IMR & MMR

With Govt’s drive to push for institutional delivery, Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) has been consistently improving. Latest national rates for IMR is 44 per 1000, while MMR (Mother Mortality Rate) is 212 per lakh (census -2011). While it appears that India is likely to achieve MDG Goal of 42 IMR by 2015, however MMR remains much higher and most likely the country is likely to miss the MDG Goal of 109 by 2015.

To reduce the MMR, Govt. under NRHM now provides a complete free service for pregnant mothers covering ante-natal and postnatal free health check-ups, food, treatment, transport and delivery.

It has now started a nation-wide service called Mother-Child Tracking Software. Each ANM has to identify each pregnant women under her area and fill individual database for her in a software installed at the Primary Health Centre. The database helps officials at the District level to identify women expecting deliveries in next three months. This helps them track each woman expecting delivery and ensure that she receives proper immunization, ante-natal check-ups and is provided transport at the time of delivery to be brought to the hospital. Some initial results of this drive have shown improvements (for example in Pune IMR has come down from 19 in 2010-11 to 15 in 2011-12) and the govt. is confident that the system will help it improve both IMRs & MMRs.

However challenges as we all know remain, ANMs who are the lowest cog in the whole system has to cover large areas, often they do not have transport to visit far off places. Large areas itself make their tasks that much more difficult. Further how far the govt. will be able to reach remote areas will yet be another challenge.

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