- In the past five months, from September 2017 to January 2018, as many as 955 infants, between 0 – 6 months, have lost their lives.
- In the year 2017, in 16 tribal districts of the state, around 2161 infant deaths in Maharashtra were recorded.
- Out of the total infant deaths in the past five months, around 133 infants were from the Melghat area of Amaravati.
- Maharashtra State Women and Child Welfare Minister, Pankaja Munde has accepted this in the written reply given to the Maharashtra assembly.
In an on-going session of the Maharashtra Assembly in Nagpur, the legislature raised the issue of rising infant mortality in the state. The Maharashtra Members of Legislative Assembly wanted to know whether these infant deaths linked to malnutrition in the tribal areas.
While answering the question, the State Women and Child Welfare Minister, Pankaja Munde in her reply, stated, “There are various causes which lead to infant deaths. Various diseases are responsible for an infant’s death. Malnutrition cannot be only held responsible as a prime cause. Pneumonia, severe temperature, Malaria, Pre-mature birth, low birth weight are also responsible for the infant’s mortality rate.”
She further added, “The state government has undertaken various health schemes for the overall development of the infants, expecting mother, lactating mother, pregnant women and adolescent girls. Nutritious food is delivered to their homes.”
The anaemic mother is one of the prime causes that doctors see leading to malnutrition among children. Sassoon doctors point out faulty feeding practices, poverty, illiteracy, and lack of vaccination, as reasons for malnutrition in children.
Dr Ramesh Bhosale, Head of the Gynaecology Department of Sassoon’s BJ Medical College, said, “If anyone asks me what is the biggest health problem that our country is facing, my answer will be anaemia. Anaemia in women is stopping us from producing classes, and what we are producing is just masses.”
“Anaemia affects the development of Intelligent Quotient (IQ) in children. It affects a child’s performance at school, which results in the country’s productive output force in a negative way. Treating anaemic women first is needed to tackle malnutrition in children,” he added.