Statistics Show Decrease in Infant Mortality Rate in India

by VR Sreeraman on Aug 23 2007 3:17 PM

The Infant Mortality Rate is decreasing in the country. On perusal, there has been a decline in infant mortality for the country as well as in all the major states of the country.

Major measures undertaken to get over the problem of infant mortality are implementation of the Integrated Managemnet of Neonatal and Childhood Illnesses (IMNCI) strategy, which adopts a holistic approach to the management of the commonest causes of neonatal and childhood mortality – sepsis, acute respiratory infections, diarrhea, measles and malaria, all compounded by malnutrition.

IMNCI shall be implemented throughout the country in a phased manner. At the current point in time, 154 districts from all across the country have initiated IMNCI implementation.

In those districts where IMNCI is not being implemented as yet, the vertical interventions for newborn and child health shall continue to be implemented as under the first phase of the Reproductive and Child health programme. These are the programmes to control deaths due to pneumonia as also due to diarrhea, nutrition counselling and micronutrient supplementation with iron folic acid and Vitamin A.

All the other interventions are being delivered uniformly all over the country. Immunization of children is one of the key interventions for protection of children from life threatening conditions which are preventable.

Under the Immunization programme, Government of India is providing vaccination to preventable six vaccine preventable diseases, i.e. Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio and Measles. In addition, thrust is being given all over the country to ensure institutional deliveries and train health personnel on essential newborn care so that skilled attendance at birth is available and all newborns receive specialized care.

Efforts to deliver new born care, both facility based as well as home based, are being made. Micronutrient supplementation with Vitamin A, Iron Folic Acid and Zinc are being made. Infant and Young Child Nutrition are being stressed. Immunization is one of the thrust areas of the ongoing Reproductive & Child Health Programme.

The National Rural Health Mission, launched in April 2005, for a period of 7 years (2005 to 2012) is an overarching intervention with a holistic approach and has envisaged reduction in infant mortality rate to 30 per thousand live births by 2012 as one of the prime goals to be achieved.

This information was given by the Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss in a reply to a question in the Lok Sabha.