Health ministry announces 8% drop in infant mortality rate from previous year

In the significant decline, the estimated infant deaths have come down from 9.3 lakh to 8.4 lakh

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Health ministry announces 8% drop in infant mortality rate from previous year
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The infant mortality rate in the country stood at 34 per 1000 live births in 2016, a fall of eight per cent from the corresponding figure the previous year, the health ministry said today.

The ministry termed the development as a "significant decline" in the IMR.

According to recently released SRS bulletin, IMR of India declined by three points (8 per cent) from 37 per 1000 live births in 2015 to 34 per 1000 live births in 2016.

The country also recorded a major drop in birth cohort (group of people born during a particular period of year), which has for the first time come down to below 25 million, it said.

"India has registered 90,000 fewer infant deaths in 2016 as compared to 2015. The total number of estimated infant deaths have come down from 9,30,000 (9.3 lakh) in 2015 to 8,40,000 (8.4 lakh) in 2016," the statement by the health ministry said.

The gender gap in India for child survival is also "reducing steadily".

"The gender difference between female and male IMR has now reduced to less than 10 per cent, giving a major boost to the 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao' scheme of the government," the statement said.

The results signify that the strategic approach of the ministry has started "yielding dividends" and the focus on low-performing states is paying off, the ministry said.

Among the EAG (Empowered Action Group) states and Assam, all states, except Uttarakhand, have reported decline in IMR in comparison to 2015, it said.

"There has been a decline of four points in Bihar, three points in Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand and two points decline in Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Rajasthan," it said.

These remarkable achievements in merely one year is also the result of countrywide efforts to increase the health service coverage through various initiatives of the government including strengthening of service delivery and quality assurance, the statement added.

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