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India Set to Achieve its MDG
Oct 20, 2016

According to data which are part of the sample registration survey for 2014, recently released by the Registrar General of India, the country is set to achieve its Millennium Development Goal (MDG) for under-five mortality by next year. In what comes as a significant indicator of improvement in child healthcare, India recorded a four point decline in under-five mortality rate from 49 deaths per 1000 births in 2013 to 45 in 2014. India's MDG goal  is 42.

  • In 2014, India averted 1.26 lakh more deaths among children under-five years of age. The survey indicates 8.16% decline in under-five mortality during 2013-14, as against 5.76% during 2012-13.
  • India has initiated various interventions and expanded the coverage of immunisation. India is confident that by next year, it will achieve the millennium development goal target by bringing down the under-five mortality rate to 42.
  • While inequity in coverage of healthcare services has been a major concern in India, the latest data reflects the differential between rural and urban India for under-five mortality has also narrowed to 23 points, as compared to 26 points in 2013. In 2012, India's underfive mortality rate stood at 52.
  • The development assumes significance as India has the highest burden of child deaths in the world. India alone accounts for 22% of 6.3 million annual under-five deaths globally.  Around 52% of under -five deaths happen at the neonatal stage.
  • Dedicated efforts during the neonatal period through establishment of special new-born care units, systematic home visits by ASHA workers, improved breastfeeding practices and increase in institutional deliveries have led to India's progress.
  • According to the World Health Organisation, 36% of all neonatal deaths in India are on account of complications associated with premature births; 23% were due to asphyxia at birth; and another 23% due to a range of newborn infections, including neonatal sepsis.
  • While almost all states showed remarkable improvement in reducing deaths among under-five year-olds, Kerala was the only state where mortality rate increased by one point from 12 in 2013 to 13 in 2014. But still Kerala fared far better as compared to the national average.
  • States like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Assam and Odisha where the under-five mortality rate was much higher in 2013 have all recorded a decline of over five points during 2014.
  • Other states like West Bengal, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and J&K have also shown progress with a decline of more than four points in under-five mortality rate.


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