26 Dec 2013

Infant Mortality Rate In India

Infant Mortality Rate
India‘s target is to reduce under five child mortality to less than 30 per 1000 live births by 2015. 

As per the latest available estimates from the Sample Registration System (SRS) released by the office of Registrar General of India (RGI), the IMR was 42 per 1000 live births in 2012.

 India has been achieving a consistent decline of 3 points per year during the period 2008-2011 and a further decline of 2 points in 2012. 

Various reasons for problems faced in implementation of Health schemes in certain states and uneven progress in infant mortality rate are as below: 

1) Different states started with different levels of infant mortality at the start of NRHM in the year 2005. For example Uttar Pradesh had an IMR of 73 per thousand live births in 2005 compared to 37 per thousand live births in Tamil Nadu. 

2) The states like Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan also suffered from deficiencies like wider gap in infrastructure and availability of skilled human resources. On the other hand states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala did not face such shortages in skilled human resource. 

3) Public Health is a state subject and investment by states in health and its social determinants varies across the states. 

To remedy the deficient enforcement in these states, a systematic approach has been undertaken. 

1) States with weak health indices are given more weightage during fund allocation. 

2) In all states 25% lowest performing districts have been identified as high priority districts based on a composite health index including tribal and LWE affected districts. These districts would receive higher per capita funding, relaxed norms for HR and infrastructure, enhanced monitoring and focussed supportive supervision. 

3) States are now incentivised for better performance and achieving efficiency in utilization of allocated funds under NRHM. 

4) States are bound by certain conditionalities when fund allocations are approved annually and these are monitored closely for compliance. 

This was stated by Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha today. 

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