PUNE: According to data released by Niti Ayog, the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) in the State has come down from 21 in 2015 to 19 in 2016. The IMR was 48 in 2,000 in Maharashtra. The IMR for India for 2016 is 34.
IMR is the number of deaths per 1,000 live births of children under one year of age. Doctors and experts from the city said good nutritional support to both the mother and the newborn can keep the IMR low. The State witnesses around 20 lakh births every year. According to officials of the State Family Welfare Bureau, the child mortality up to five years has also reduced from 24 to 21 during the same period.
States with lower IMR than Maharashtra are Goa (IMR-8), Puducherry and Kerala (IMR-10), Manipur (IMR-11), Nagaland (IMR-12), Chandigarh (IMR-14), Sikkim (IMR-16), Tamil Nadu (IMR-17), Andaman and Nicobar Islands (IMR-16), Dadar and Nagar Haveli (IMR-17), Delhi (IMR-18), Daman and Diu and Lakshadweep (IMR-19).
Speaking to Sakal Times, Dr Devika Jadhav, former paediatric-in-charge at the Sick Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) at the Aundh District Hospital, said awareness about maternal and child health is paramount in bringing IMR down.
“Many families are unaware that the maternal health is as important as the newborn health. New mothers should be made aware that taking iron supplements before conceiving is also very important to maintain good health,” said Jadhav.
“Many young mothers are anaemic, which hampers the health of the child and their growth,” added Jadhav. She highlighted that breastfeeding after one hour of birth also ensures good immunity for the child.
“Though Maharashtra has a good rate of institutionalised birth, there are many patients, who opt to do home deliveries, especially in rural areas. This should be avoided to ensure that health of the baby and the mother is good,” said Jadhav.