Poor Infant Mortality Rate blots Delhi

Not only air pollution but Delhi is even lacking in Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and other health indicators. When compared to Tamil Nadu and Kerala, the IMR is increasing in the national capital since 2005.

As per the Economic Survey report 2014-15, 22 out of 1,000 children who took birth in the city in the year 2013 died within a year of the birth.
Meanwhile, as per civil registration system, the Neonatal Mortality Rate (NMR) was at 15 per 1,000 births for the corresponding year.

In 2001, the NMR in Delhi was 14 per 1,000 and declined to nine per 1,000 in 2004 but has been going up ever since.

Economic Times reported that in 2001, Delhi's IMR was 24 per 1,000 births and this reduced to 13 per 1,000 in 2004 and 2005. However, it has been on the rise ever since.

Also, the percentage of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) spent on healthcare in the national capital has gone down from 1.05 in 2006-07 to 0.96 in 2014-15.

Dr V K Paul, professor and head of the paediatrics department at AIIMS, told the financial daily that the figures reflected lack of infrastructure.

"Kerala and Tamil Nadu fare much better in terms of IMR despite having a larger and more diverse population. Tamil Nadu has tribal and coastal populations that are uneducated," he told ET.

Meanwhile, Dr Krishan Chugh, chairman of the department of paediatrics at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, told ET that the institutional birth rate has gone up in Delhi. "Deaths are still happening due to poor ante-natal care, and in some cases mothers reach hospital for birth too late," he added.

According to the experts conditions, before and after birth of a child, lead to death of infants.

They point out that the infection rate in most maternity centres is high as they do not adhere to hygienic standards.

(Image: Reuters)

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