Himachal Pradesh slashed its Infant Mortality Rate to 22 percent

Y.S.Rana | June 06, 2019 12:00 PM

HAMIRPUR: Himachal Pradesh has, since the mid-1990s, grown marginally faster than the rest of the country and has been unleashing a silent revolution for change and it has best health indicators in the country. It is a pat on the back of the Himachal Pradesh government that its achievement in IMR reduction has been better than the national average (33). Himachal Pradesh slashed its Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) (-56 per cent) from 50 in 2006 to 22 in 2017 per 1000 live births as per the latest government data released last week.

When compared to SRS figures for IMR, among India’s larger States with population more than 10 million, New Delhi and Tamil Nadu have slashed their infant mortality rates by 57 per cent from 37 in 2006 to 16 in 2017. Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir its neighbouring States have also recorded decline in IMR. Punjab slashed its IMR by -52 per cent –from 44 in 2006 to 21 in 2017 compared to J and K 52 in 2006 to 23 in 2017.

While Himachal Pradesh IMR reduction has been better than the national average yet it stacks up unfavourably when compared to other hill States. Nagaland recorded the lowest IMR of 7 followed by Goa (9) and Kerala (10) in the country.  Close behind were Puducherry (11), Sikkim (12) and Manipur (12) all small states with population of less than 10 million. Madhya Pradesh has recorded the highest IMR 47 in 2017 which was equivalent to that of Niger.

The state is come very close to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) state-specific targets. The state has also emerged as a model for social sector services in the country as more than 70 per cent people are seeking health services from the government sector which is rare in the country.  Himachal Pradesh has also best health indicators across the country. It stood first for the highest annual decline in Neonatal Mortality Rate and also ranked the best state for decline in Under-5 Mortality Rate. It along with Haryana was ranked as best performing state for prevention and control of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases under the national programme.

The report further states that India has reduced its IMR by 42 per cent over 11 years from 57 per 1000 live births in 2006 to 33 in 2017 but its IMR in 2017 remained higher than the global 29.4. In 2017 country’s rural areas had an IMR of 37 and urban areas 23. Infant girls still continue to die at greater rates than infant boys, stated the report. It further revealed that infant boys have an IMR 35 compared to infant girls 39 per 1000 live birth. The report also stated that India’s IMR of 33 remained worse than that of Nepal (28), Bangladesh (27), Bhutan (26), Sri Lanka (8) but better than that of Pakistan (61).      

The National Health Rural Health Mission was launched in 2005 set India’s IMR target 30 per 1000 live birth by 2012 however it could not be achieved by 2017. 

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