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Infant mortality rate witnesses significant decline in JK

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Atal Dulloo reviews status of roadmap for reducing IMR to single digit by 2022

SRINAGAR, JULY 30: The Jammu and Kashmir Government has been able to achieve remarkable improvement in multiple indicators related to maternal and child health in the recent years—with notable progress in reducing infant mortality rate (IMR) across the Himalayan State.

In this regard, a marathon meeting was convened under the chairmanship of Financial Commissioner, Health and Medical Education, Atal Dulloo here.

The meeting was attended by Principal Government Medical College, Srinagar, Prof Parvez Ahmad Shah, Director Health Services, Kashmir, Dr Kunzes Dolma, officials from National Health Mission and other allied wings. Principal Government Medical College, Jammu, Prof Sunanda Raina, Director Health Services, Jammu, Dr Sameer Mattoo, Mission Director, National Health Mission, Bhupinder Kumar and other concerned participated in the meeting via video-conferencing.

The meeting was informed that the institutional deliveries, fertility rate, antenatal care have seen an improvement in the period as reflected by data of National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-3 to NFHS-4. All this has translated into reduction of IMR from 52 in 2005 to 23 in 2017.

Pertinently, J&K also registered a significant decline in the Under 5 Mortality Rate from 26 to 24 as per latest Sample Registration System (SRS 2017) data issued by Registrar General of India. The current national average of Under 5 mortality rate stands at 37 much higher than that of the J&K State.

In order to further decrease Infant Mortality Rate across the State to a single digit, an action plan has been developed by National Health Mission, J&K with technical support from the Norway India Partnership Initiative.

Speaking on the occasion, Atal Dulloo said that Government is committed to eliminate preventable deaths of newborns and children by 2030 in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

During the meeting, the Financial Commissioner took a threadbare review of the action plan that enlists the community based and health facility-based interventions for reducing the child mortality rate.

He said that the Department with active support from National Health Mission has put strenuous efforts to provide essential newborn care at Government health institutions across the State through Facility-Based and Home-Based Newborn Care.

The meeting was also informed that the community-based interventions which need strengthening include birth preparedness, home-based newborn care, mothers absolute affection, intensified diarrhea control fortnight, universal immunisation programme, VHNDs and IMNCI, besides various components of Poshan Abhiyan are being implemented to further reduce child mortality indicators.

Pertinently National Family Health Survey (NFHS) suggests that the infant mortality rate (IMR), an important summary measure of a country’s health, saw a marked improvement over the past decade, declining from 57 per 1,000 live births in 2005-06 to 41 per 1,000 live births in 2015-16. The improvement over the past decade has been much faster than in the rest of the post-liberalization era.

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