The infant mortality rate (IMR) has been brought down to 6 in Kerala, which is at par with US and some European countries.
The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) of 2015-16 said Kerala is the safest place in saving infants in the country, as the IMR — the number of children under the age of 1 who die for every 1,000 born — was brought down to this extent.
The NFHS was conducted after collecting data from 6 lakh households, 7 lakh women and 1.3 lakh men.
The state which has always been far ahead of the rest of the country, this time is at an IMR of 12, while the national average is 41.
There has been a focus on IMR as part of the millennium development goals, which gained momentum in the last seven to eight years even though the goals were launched in 2000. In our own hospital, we have seen neonatal mortality fall by halfDr Mohandas Nair, additional professor in paediatrics in Kozhikode Medical College
According to the reports, if the current national IMR rate of 41 can be brought down to 6, around seven lakh children would be saved from death each year.
"Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) declined from 57 to 41 per 1,000 live births between NFHS-3 (2005-06) and NFHS-4. IMR has declined substantially in almost all the states during the last decade. It dropped by more than 20 percentage points in Tripura, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Odisha,” the survey said.
According to the survey, the sex ratio at birth has also improved from 914 to 919 at the national level.
The highest of it is in Kerala (1,047), followed by Meghalaya (1,009) and Chhattisgarh (977).
Institutional births also dramatically increased by 40 percent across the country.