The infant mortality rate (IMR) in Chandigarh has declined from 23 to 21 deaths per 1,000 live births, as per the 2015 sample registration system(SRS) bulletin, which is prepared by the census department. In 2014 report, the IMR in the city had recorded an increase, which had come as a surprise to the UT health department. As per the lastest report, the national IMR rate has also come down from 39 (in 2014) to 37.
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Chandigarh along with Dadra, Nagar Haveli fares the worst among the Union Territories. Puducherry has the lowest IMR of 11 while Andamans and Lakshwadeep have IMR of 20 each.
Released earlier this week, the report which is based between 2013-15, reveals that of the 21 infant mortality deaths, the number of deaths in Chandigarh were higher in urban (22) areas then the rural areas which was only 10. In the 2014 bulletin, however, the number of deaths were 23 and 20 in urban and rural respectively.
The report has also provided IMR rates on the basis of gender. Of the total deaths, the number of deaths among females was recorded at 23 than males which stood at 21. As per last year’s report, out of 23 IMR, the number of female deaths were higher at 27 while the male were 19.
Delay in treatment provided to the girl child, is one of the reasons why the number of female deaths is higher than males, doctors said.
“Government has launched some programmes such as Beti Bachao and Beti Padhao. We have also seen a little bit improvement in the society towards the girl child,” said Dr Vishal Guglani, head, pediatrics, Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32.
“But, we still continue to see the cases where treatment to the girl child is neglected. It is mostly done by those people who belong to the economic weaker sections of the society,” he added.
Sharing his views about the latest report, UT Health Director Dr Rakesh Kumar Kashyap told Chandigarh Newsline, “It (the latest SRS report) is a good sign. But, we need to further improve the statistics. Better management of neonatal infections, strengthening of Antenatal care and proper management of high risk pregnancies and nutrition of pregnant mothers are some of the areas where we will focus to improve the numbers.”
“The numbers released last year had worried the health department, because no one had expected IMR numbers to go up, because as per the trend in the country the numbers are declining ,” added Kashyap.