New Delhi: Goa is the best place in India for a child to be born while Madhya Pradesh is the worst.
India has seen a fall in its infant mortality rate (IMR). And in sheer numbers, Goa in 2009 recorded the least number of infant deaths per 1000 live births — 11. It was followed by Kerala (12), Manipur (16) and Puducherry (22). Daman and Diu recorded 24 deaths per 1,000 live births.
In comparison, the states where maximum children died were Madhya Pradesh which saw 67 deaths per 1,000 live births, Orissa (65), Uttar Pradesh (63), Assam (61) and Rajasthan and Megha-laya jointly recording 59 infant deaths.
According to the latest Sample Registration System (SRS) estimates, of which have been released by the Registrar General of India, India’s IMR dropped by 3 points — from 53 (during 2008) to 50 infants’ deaths per 1,000 live births during 2009.
The IMR for rural areas also dropped by 3 points — from 58 to 55 infant deaths per 1,000 live births.
While the national average was a three-point drop, states like Bihar, Karnataka, Orissa, Rajasthan, UP, Jammu and Kashmir and Andaman and Nicobar islands reported a 4 points decrease.
Bihar had reported 56 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2008 which came down to 52 in 2009. Similarly, Karnataka recorded a drop from 45 in 2008 to 41 in 2009, Rajasthan recorded 63 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2008 which went down to 59 in 2009.
J&K similarly recorded a drop from 49 deaths in 2008 to 45 in 2009 while Andaman and Nicobar islands came down from 31 in 2008 to 27 in 2009.
Daman and Diu registered the maximum drop of 7 points from an IMR of 31 in 2008 to 24 in 2009, followed closely by a six-point drop in Lakshadweep from 31 to 25.
Larger states like Delhi recorded an IMR of 33 in 2009 compared to 35 in 2008, Maharashtra an IMR of 31 in 2009 compared to 33 the previous year, Tamil Nadu down from 31 in 2008 to 28 last year.
West Bengal’s IMR fell from 35 to 33 between 2008 and 2009, Karnataka’s from 45 to 41 and Andhra Pradesh from 52 to 49 in 2009.
Officials say that paying women to deliver their child in a hospital is helping India reduce its shamefully high IMR.
In a recent study of the Janani Suraksha Yojna, India’s ambitious maternal health program, women who took part were found to have 4 fewer still births and deaths in the first week of life per 1,000 pregnancies and 2 fewer neonatal deaths per 1,000 live births.
JSY also had a significant effect on increasing antenatal care and in-facility births. In the matching analysis, JSY payment was associated with a reduction of 3.7 prenatal deaths per 1,000 pregnancies and 2.3 neonatal deaths per 1,000 live births.