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Nagaland achieves Infant Mortality reduction goal

By EMN Updated: Mar 17, 2014 11:52 pm

Staff Reporter
Dimapur, March 17

Nagaland is one of the eight states in the country to have achieved the national-level Millennium Development Goals of reducing Infant Mortality rates.
However, the central government has suggested that the state needs to drive its home-based skilled child delivery services because Nagaland, on the flip side, has also ranked the lowest among states that engage skilled health personnel to aid child deliveries. The authoritative ‘millennium developmental goals’ examines achievements and failure of poverty alleviation policies as well as their core targets within the policy framework in the country’s states and union territories. The Ministry of Program Implementation has stated in its recently released data on child mortality in the ‘Millennium Development Goals India Country Report 2014’.
Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) is defined as the number of deaths of infants of age less than one year per thousand live births. In India, the Infant Mortality has reduced by nearly 50% during 1990- 2012 and the present status is at 42 per 1000 live births.
The ministry has said that the IMR is likely to reach 40 deaths per 1000 live births, missing the MDG target of 27 with a considerable margin. “However, as IMR is declining at a sharper rate in the recent years, the gap between the likely achievement and MDG target 2015 is set to reduce,” the ministry said.
“The states of Goa (10), Manipur (10), Kerala (12), Nagaland (18), Tamil Nadu (21), Sikkim (24), Delhi (25) and Maharashtra (25), have already achieved the national level MDG target of IMR (27).
However, more meaningful comparison of the progress of states is with the respective state MDG targets,” the ministry said.
One of the mechanisms the government seeks to reduce IMR is the Home Based New Born Care (HBNC): The apparatus is implemented through the ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activists) and has recently been initiated to improve new born care practices at the community level and for early detection and referral of sick new born babies.
Currently, 15 States namely Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland, Sikkim, Gujarat, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Delhi, Puducherry have already implemented HBNC. States such as Nagaland do need ASHAs primarily because the percentage of child deliveries with the aid of skilled health personnel is the lowest in the country, the Millennium Development Goals of the Ministry showed.
“With the existing rate of increase in deliveries by skilled personnel, the likely achievement for 2015 is only to 77.29%, which is far short of the targeted universal coverage. As per CES 2009, the percentage of deliveries attended by skilled health personnel ranges from 43.8% (Nagaland) to 100% (Kerala),” the ministry said.
The central government targets reduction of under-five-years IMR by two-thirds by next year, i.e., 2015. According to the government, the causes of child mortality in the age group 0-5 years in India are Neonatal causes (52%), Pneumonia (15%), Diarrheal disease (11%), Measles (3%), Injuries (4%), and Others (15%). The prominent causes of death among infants are prenatal conditions (46%), respiratory infections (22%), diarrheal disease (10%), other infectious and parasitic diseases (8%), and congenital anomalies (3.1%).
Likewise, the major causes of neonatal deaths are Infections (30.7%) such as Pneumonia, Septicemia and Umbilical Cord infection; Prematurity (34.6%) i.e. birth of newborn before 37 weeks of gestation and Asphyxia (19%) i.e. inability to breathe immediately after birth and leads to lack of oxygen.

By EMN Updated: Mar 17, 2014 11:52:10 pm