To curb the increasing infants and child mortality rates in the country, the union government has undertaken various projects and schemes. Crores of rupees have been spent annually, but, high child mortality rates remain a big challenge in front of the government.
An investigation to find out the cause for these infant deaths found that:
- Out of 13, 541 – 54% of the babies were boys and 46% were girls.
- 65% of infant deaths occurred between 0 to 28 days.
- 28% of infants have died between 28 days to 1 year.
- 14% of infants have died between 1 year to 5 years
Cause of death:
Underweight/premature born – 22%
Pneumonia – 7%
Birth trauma – 12%
Congenital diseases – 10%
Breathing related issues – 9%
Miscellaneous reasons – 27%
While speaking to My Medical Mantra, RTI activist Chetan Kothari said, “Maharashtra is witnessing rise in number of infants and child mortality. The state machinery has still not reached to tribal areas. Malnutrition and not being able to receiving food which provides nutrition to the pregnant mother are the two main reasons behind the growth in infant mortality rates.”
Dr Archana Patil, Additional Director State Family Welfare department, said, “There are various reasons that are associated with the infant’s death. Kids between 0 to 5 years of age die due to suffering from various diseases. Low birth weight is also one of the contributing factors. In order to curb the infant’s mortality, the state government is implementing various child welfare schemes, and also the awareness is being created in the patents as well.”
Dr Rupinder Kaur, MD, Medicine, “One of the main contributing factors in behind an infant’s death is malnutrition. The state government should prepare an action plan to tackle this. It should take help of the doctors as well. Anganwadi workers should be adequately trained to take care of the malnourished children. Cleanliness and hygiene is also a major contributing factor.”
An earlier RTI made public on April 16 revealed that:
- 424 infants died in Mumbai within first hour of the birth
- 1,525 babies died within one year after their birth.
- Pneumonia is responsible for the death of 111 babies.