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Thursday, 25 October 2012

Jharkhand to achieve UN millennium goal in low infant mortality rate

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Jharkhand to achieve UN millennium goal in low infant mortality rate
Clean Media Correspondent

Ranchi, Oct 25 (CMC) Jharkhand is bound to achieve the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goal in low infant mortality rate as in the latest Sample Registration Survey (SRS) it has the second lowest Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) among the eight Empowered Action Group (EAG) states, which were formerly referred to as BIMARU states.

Job Zachariah, Jharkhand head of the UNICEF told Clean Media that according to the latest Sample Registration Survey (SRS) bulletin of October 2012, released by the Registrar General of India, the mortality rate of children less than one year in the state in 2011 is 39 per 1000 live births, compared to the national average of 44. He said that the IMR was brought down in the state from whopping 51 in 2003 to 39 last year, a decrease of 12 points in just eight years.
If the current trend of decline in IMR by three points per year is maintained, the infant mortality rate in Jharkhand would reduce to 27 in 2015. In that case, Jharkhand would achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of reducing IMR to less than 28 for 1000 live births by 2015.
The IMR in Jharkhand declined from 51 in 2003 to 49 (2004 and 2006), 48 (2007), 46 (2008), 42 (2010) and to 39 in 2011.During the same period, IMR at national level improved from 60 in 2003 to 44 in 2011.
IMR in Jharkhand was found to be 36 for the male child while it was 43 for the female child.
Aboo Backer Siddique, the MD NRHM, Jharkhand is optimistic to achieve the IMR of 33 by the end of March-2013.
He told Clean Media that the results of IMR have improved mainly because of Still berths attendants training, introduction of Mamta Vahan, increased immunization and Janani Shishu Suraksha Scheme (JSS).
The IMR of other EAG states are: Chhattisgarh- 48, Bihar- 44, Rajasthan- 52, Orissa-57, Uttar Pradesh-57 and Madhya Pradesh -59. The only EAG state that has better rate is Uttaranchal, where the rate is 36.
Already, two districts – East Singhbhum and Dhanbad- in the state have achieved the MDG goal, four years ahead of the deadline of 2015. According to the Annual Health Survey (AHS) for 2010-11, IMR in East Singhbhum is only 26 and Dhanbad - 28. Out of 284 districts in EAG states, only 6 districts have achieved this distinction and all the remaining four districts are in Uttaranchal. Besides, as per AHS, 5 more districts in Jharkhand are on the way to achieve the distinction. They are Bokaro with IMR of 29, followed by Ranchi (35), Kodarma (36), Giridih (36) and Hazaribagh (37).
Big states with better IMR rates than Jharkhand are Kerala--12, followed by Tamil Nadu -22, Maharashtra- 25, Delhi-28, Punjab-30, West Bengal- 32 and Karnataka- 35, as per the bulletin.
Zachariah said that there are ten globally proven strategies to reduce death and malnutrition of infants. As per Lancet, 2003, improved breast-feeding practices like initial breast-feeding within one hour of birth, exclusive breast-feeding for first six months and complementary feeding from seventh month, can prevent many infant deaths. Initial breast-feeding within one hour alone can prevent 22 percent of the infant deaths in developing countries as per a study.
Other strategies to reduce infant deaths include hand washing with soap at critical times; immunization, zinc and vitamin-A supplementation for children; iron tablet supplementation for adolescent girls; treating diarrhea with ORS ( oral rehydration therapy); providing nutritious food , iron tablet and rest to pregnant women; and improving per cent of hospital deliveries. Also, preventing child marriages and open defecation will also lead to reduction in child deaths.

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