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   Tuesday, January 16, 2018
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India fails to improve child mortality rates


Yet again, India has scored poorly in basic health indicators compared to the rest of South-Asian nations, most of these economically weaker than India. However Afghanistan and Pakistan are even below and have shown a poor performance.

As latest figure released by the government of India suggest, nations like Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka seems to be in a better position when it comes to child healthcare. The Neonatal Mortality Rate (NMR) (per thousands live births) of India is 34. On the other hand, Bangladesh stands at 30, Nepal and China at 26 and 11 respectively.

Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) (per thousands live births) of India stands at 50. Countries like Bangladesh, China, Nepal and Sri Lanka have emerged as better performing countries with low infant mortality rate. The infant mortality rate of Sri Lanka is 13 and that of China is 17. However, Pakistan and Afghanistan recorded high infant mortality rates. The Infant Mortality Rate of Pakistan stands at 70 and that of Afghanistan at 134.

The Under–Five Mortality Rate (U5MR) (per thousands live births) of India is 64. Among India’s neighbours, Sri Lanka emerges out to be the top performer followed by China, Nepal and Bangladesh. The U5MR of Sri Lanka is 16 and that of Bangladesh is 52.

Pakistan and Afghanistan again emerge out as worst performers in Under–five Mortality Rate. The U5MR of Pakistan and Afghanistan stand at 87 and 199, respectively.

Dr. Sunita Kocchar, a Delhi based child health expert says the root cause lies in poor maternal care at the time of pregnancy. She also blames the unawareness of the mother and entire family for the same. “The social setup in our country where the majority of women is not fed and treated properly during pregnancy is the major cause”, says Dr. Kocchar. And a woman’s poor awareness about breastfeeding, hygiene and general healthy practices adds to the woes.

India is a big nation where planning of healthcare programmes should be such that they are able to cater to the majority. Limitation lies in the accessibility of the medical facilities by all. Hefty fees charged by doctors, costly medicines force people with humble background to turn to local quacks, unskilled midwives and self medication leading to complications which at times turn fatal and add to the number of child or mother deaths.

The focus should be on to strengthen the public healthcare system which is efficiently executed and is easily accessible for every citizen. Giving priority to the high-end hospitals and allowing medicine prices to soar high would not help India improve its record in child mortality rates.

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 Other Articles by d-sector Team in
Human Development  > Health > Children Healthcare

Sports and energy drinks not safe for teenagers
Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Cancer kills kids too
Monday, February 07, 2011


India fares poorly on breast-feeding Index
Monday, December 27, 2010


Neonatal deaths on a high in Bihar
Tuesday, December 07, 2010

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