The infant mortality rate and the maternal mortality rates in the country are fast declining which is faster than the international pace, the government told the Rajya Sabha today. Replying to questions, Health Minister J P Nadda said “in the IMR (infant mortality rate), MMR (maternal mortality rate) and Under-5 Mortality Rate, the decline is faster than the international pace.”
He said since the National Health Mission (NHM) came into existence, the IMR, MMR and the Under-5 Mortality Ratio and Rate have gone down drastically.
“If I talk about the Maternal Mortality Rate, it was 254 per 1,00,000 live births in 2004-05, which has been reduced to 167 per 1,00,000 live births in 2013. It has decreased by 87 points (34.2 per cent).
“In the same way, the Infant Mortality Rate has declined from 58 per 1,000 live births in 2005 to 37 per 1,000 live births in 2015, which is a decline of 21 points (36.2 per cent),” he said.
Nadda said, “That is what India is doing. We are faster than the rest of the world. Yes, the size of the population is one of the reasons…the decline has been faster and all interventions are being done.”
The Minister also clarified that Aadhaar is not compulsory for anyone availing the benefits under Janani Suraksha Yojna, but the government is encouraging people so that there is no pilferage.
“We do not want pilferage; we do not want leakage. We want that the beneficiary should get it. But that is not compulsory. We are encouraging that we should go to the Aadhaar way,” he said, adding that those not having Aadhar will also get benefits of the schemes.
He also talked about a proposal to convert comunity health centres into wellness centres and of the proposed 1.5 lakh such centres, government will take up 22,000 in a phased manner this year.
He said the Budget for Health Department has been increased by 27.7 per cent, from Rs 37,000-plus crore to Rs 47,000-plus crore.
The Budget has been increased and there is no shortage of Budget as far as any programme is concerned, he said.
In reply to another question, Nadda said there is no provision for fixing the remuneration of Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) and it was only upto the states to provide any such remuneration.
He said state governments had fixed different amounts as their remuneration but the Centre only proposes to provide incentives to them.