Skip to main content

Gujarat's six districts among 42 India's "laggard" districts with very slow fall in under-five mortality rate

By Rajiv Shah
A high-level study, carried out by a group of scholars led by Prof Usha Ram of the Centre for Global Health Research, St Michael’s Hospital, University of Toronto, “Neonatal, 159 month, and under-5 mortality in 597 Indian districts, 2001 to 2012”, has found that Gujarat’s six districts figure among 42 of India’s top laggard districts showing very slow fall in under-five mortality rate (U5MR). Published in Lancet, the reputed international health journal, the study shockingly suggests that two of the six districts has majority tribal population – Dahod and Valsad – while the rest have tribal population but not in majority. Gujarat accounts for nearly 15 per cent tribal population.
U5MR is the sum total of child mortality under two different categories – neonatal mortality rate (NNMR), based on infant mortality of less than one month old, and the mortality rate of children between one month and 59 months (1-59mMR). The 42 districts out of 597 Indian districts chosen by the scholars are those which have reduced U5MR by two or less than two points per year per 1,000 live births between 2001 and 2012.
The “laggard districts” of Gujarat are Valsad, which could reduce the U5MR from 59 per 1,000 to 56.8, or by a 0.3 per annum; Panchmahals, from 83 to 84.9, or by 0.8 per annum; Sabarkantha from 79 to 70.0, or by 0.9 per annum; Dahod from 105 to 83.6, or by 1.9 per annum; Amreli, from 59 to 46.2, or by 2.0 per annum; and Vadodara, whose U5MR went up from 73 to 73.6, increasing by 0.1 per annum.
Significantly, Panchamahals, Sabarkantha and Vadodara were split in the recent past to carve out separate districts, hence the percentage of tribal population in these districts has considerably come down. Further, the data suggest that Vadodara is one of the three districts in India whose U5MR increased – the others being Raichur in Karnataka (where the per annum rise was to the tune of 0.1) and Jorhat in Assam (where the per annum rise was to the tune of 2.6).
Equally significant is the fact that India’s average U5MR in 2001 was 81.1 per annum every 1000 live births, which went down to 47.2 in 2012, suggesting a fall of 3.08 per annum. As against this, Gujarat’s U5MR, which was 73 per 1000 live births in 2001 fell to 52.2 per 1000 live births, or by 2.6 per annum, which is less than the national average.
The scholars’ further analysis suggests that, as for neonatal death rate (NNMR), Gujarat experienced a rate of 29 per 1000 in 2012, which is higher than eight states -- Kerala 7.3, Tamil Nadu 15.3, Maharashtra 21.6, Karnataka 23.2, Punjab 23.4, West Bengal 24.2, Haryana 26.9, and Himachal Pradesh 27.6.
Further the analysis suggests, it is after the neonatal period that things turn from bad to worse for Gujarat’s children. The mortality rate of children between 1 month and 59 months (1-59mMR) for Gujarat in 2012 was 23.2, which was higher among all 11 states qualified as “rich” by the scholars -- Kerala (5.9), Maharashtra (11.0), Tamil Nadu (12.0), Jammu & Kashmir (13.9), Himachal Pradesh (15.0), West Bengal (15.4), Punjab (16.5), Andhra Pradesh (17.7), Karnataka (19.4), and Haryana (22.6). The all-India average for 1-59mMR is 26.6 per 1000 deaths.

Comments

TRENDING

132 Gujarat citizens, including IIM-A faculty, others declare solidarity with Kashmiris

Counterview Desk
A week after it was floated, 132 activists, academics, students, artists and other concerned citizens of Gujarat, backed by 118 living in different parts of India and the world, have signed a "solidarity letter" supporting the people of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), who, it claims, have been silenced and held captive in their own land. The signatories include faculty members and scholars of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A).

Amit Shah 'wrong': Lack of transparency characterized bank frauds, NPAs, jobs data

Counterview Desk
India's senior RTI activists Nikhil Dey, Anjali Bhardwaj, Venktesh Nayak, Rakesh Reddy Dubbudu, Dr. Shaikh Ghulam Rasool, Pankti Jog and Pradip Pradhan, who are attached with the National Campaign for Peoples' Right to Information (NCPRI), have said that Union home minister Amit Shah's claim that the Government of India is committed to transparency stands in sharp contrast to its actual actions.

Untold story of Jammu: Business 'down', students fear lynching, teachers can't speak

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released report, seeking to debunk the view that people in Jammu, the second biggest city of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) after Srinagar, people had gone “out celebrating” abrogation of Article 370 which took away the state’s special status, has reported what it calls “abominably high levels of fear” across all sections in the town.

Success of 'political' Hinduism: Kashmiris being depicted as antagonists of rest of India

By Anand K Sahay*
There are times in history when facts call attention to themselves; they assert their independence in all its amplitude and are in no need of the crutch of interpretation. Such a moment is visible in Kashmir now. Merely by being on the table, the facts there taunt the regime’s proclamations.

Gujarat's incomplete canals: Narmada dam filled up, yet benefits 'won't reach' farmers

By Our Representative
Even as the Gujarat government is making all out efforts to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river up to the full reservoir level (FRL), a senior farmer rights leader has said the huge reservoir, as of today, remains a “mirage for the farmers of Gujarat”.
In a statement, Sagar Rabari of the Khedut Ekta Manch (KEM), has said that though the dam’s reservoir is being filled up, the canal network remains complete. Quoting latest government figures, he says, meanwhile, the command area of the dam has been reduced from 18,45,000 hectares (ha) to 17,92,000 ha.
“According to the website of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, which was last updated on Friday, while the main canal, of 458 km long, has been completed, 144 km of ranch canals out of the proposed length of 2731 km remain incomplete.
Then, as against the targeted 4,569 km distributaries, 4,347 km have been constructed, suggesting work for 222 km is still pending. And of the 15,670 km of minor canal…

Ceramic worker dies: 20,000 workers in Thangadh, Gujarat, 'risk' deadly silicosis

By Our Representative
Even as the country was busy preparing for the Janmashtami festival on Saturday, Hareshbhai, a 46-year-old ceramic worker from suffering from the fatal lung disease silicosis, passed away. He worked in a ceramic unit in Thangadh in Surendranagar district of Gujarat from 2000 to 2016.
Hareshbhai was diagnosed with the disease by the GCS Medical College, Naroda Road, Ahmedabad in 2014. He was found to be suffering from progressive massive fibrosis. He is left behind by his wife Rekha sister and two sons Deepak (18) and Umesh (12),
The death of Hareshbhai, says Jagdish Patel of the health rights group Peoples Training and Research Centre (PTRC), suggests that silicosis, an occupational disease, can be prevented but not cured, and the Factory Act has sufficient provisions to prevent this.
According to Patel, the pottery industry in the industrial town of Thangadh has evolved for a long time and locals as well as migrant workers are employed here. There are abou…

Kashmiris in a civil disobedience mode, are going against 'diktat' to open shops

Counterview Desk
A team of concerned citizens, including Ludhiana-based psychiatrist and writer Anirudh Kala, Mumbai-based activist and public health professional Brinelle Dsouza, Delhi-based journalist and writer Revati Laul, and social activist Shabnam Hashmi, travelled to Kashmir and Jammu to understand the impact of the abrogation of Article 370 and the subsequent security clampdown and communication blockade on the lives of the people of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).