Today’s good news is that the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) in Jharkhand has come down to 38 per 1000 live births as per the latest bulletin released by the Registrar General of India for the year 2012.
“This is lower than the national average of 42 and also the rate in most of the north Indian states in the country”,states a press release issued by Moira Dawa,UNICEF’s Jharkhand unit’s Advocacy and Communication Officer.
In her communique Dawa states as follows:
The highest IMR rate is in Madhya Pradesh (56); followed by Assam (55); Uttar Pradesh (53); Odisha (53); Rajasthan (49); Chhattisgarh (47; Bihar (43); Haryana (42); Andhra Pradesh (41); Jammu & Kashmir (39) and Gujarat (38). Among the States, the lowest rate is in Goa (10) and Manipur (10) followed by Kerala (12), Nagaland (18), Tamil Nadu (21), Sikkim (24), Delhi (25), Maharashtra (25), Punjab (28) and Tripura (28).
Earlier, the Annual Health Survey (AHS) bulletin 2011-12released in June this year had also reported the IMR of the State as 38 per 1000 live births.
The Millennium Development Goal (MDG) is to reduce the IMR to 27 per 1000 live births by end of December 2015. Already two districts– East Singhbhum and Dhanbad – in the State have achieved this target and five districts (Bokaro – 28, Koderma – 30, Hazaribagh – 31, Ranchi – 32, and Deoghar – 34) are on track to achieve this target.
In the last 12 years, the Infant Mortality Rate in the State declined by 32 points (from 70 in 2000 to 38 in 2012) while it declined at national level by 26 points during the same period. In 2000, the IMR in the State was 70, 2 points higher than the national average of 68. But in 2012 it stood at 38, 4 points lower than the national average of 42 for 1000 live births.
There are 10-12 globally proven interventions to reduce deaths of children. This includes improving the breast feeding practices like initial breastfeeding within one hour of birth (which is 38% as per AHS 2010-11) and exclusive breastfeeding for the first six month (which is 46% as per AHS 2010-11); promoting deliveries in the hospitals/ institutions (which is 38% as per AHS 2010-11);treating and preventing diarrhea among children; ensuring full immunization of children (which is 64% as per AHS 2010-11); ensuring care and medical check-up of pregnant women; and reducing anaemia among adolescents and women (which is 70% as per NFHS- 3).
Other inventions to reduce infant mortality rates are promoting use of toilets (which is only 7% in the rural areas as per Census 2011); promoting hand washing with soap before taking food and after defecation; use of safe water; promoting education of girls and preventing child marriage (which is about 52% as per AHS 2010-11).