India’s Infant Mortality Rate (no. of children dying within one year of birth) has come down significantly to 44 per 1000 (compared to 63 in 2001). Major contributor, almost 70%, to IMR is neonatal mortality rate (NMR), i.e. children dying within 28 days of birth.
NMR stood at 37 for a long period during 2004-07, but in 2011 it has come down to 31 per 1000 live births. While Kerala has the lowest NMR of 7, while MP has the highest of 41, followed by UP, Orissa and Rajasthan. India’s dip in NMR of 6 percent stands out as the average Global rate of decline is only 1.6% in the last decade. However this decline is national average could not have been achieved unless the states mentioned above had not improved dramatically, since these constitute the largest number of children born.
The improvement is being attributed because of certain new initiatives undertaken under NRHM, which include setting up of special new-born care-units and new born-stabilisation units alongwith training of around 96000 persons in essential newborn care.
But as the figures indicate there is still long distance to be covered by most states to reach what Kerala achieved long time ago.
Socio Research & Reform Foundation
(A Non Government Organisation)
512 A, Deepshikha, 8 Rajendra Place,
New Delhi – 110008