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Gujarat's slips in rural infant mortality rate, unlikely to achieve millennium development goal by 2015

By Rajiv Shah
Fresh data of the Sample Registration System (SRS), which works under the Census of India, have suggested that Gujarat’s rural areas have failed to improve, and in fact gone down by one point, in its ranking, in the fight against high infant mortality rate (IMR) vis-a-vis other states in the last one decade. According to the latest SRS Bulletin, which was prepared in September 2014 and is based on the data collected in 2013, Gujarat ranked No 12th in a group of 20 major states in rural IMR. What is particularly shocking is that, at 43 IMR per 1000, such so-called backward states like Bihar (42 per 1000) and Jharkhand (38 per 1000) do better than Gujarat.
Other states which do better than Gujarat include Kerala (13), which remains top ranking like before, Tamil Nadu (24), Punjab (28), Maharashtra (29), West Bengal (32), Karnataka and Uttarkhand (34 each), Himachal Pradesh (35), and Jammu & Kashmir (39). Earlier SRS data suggest that Gujarat’s rural IMR ranking went down from 11th position in 2004 to 12th position in 2012 among 20 major states, and has failed to improve in 2013, too, suggesting overall stagnation.
However, as for urban IMR, Gujarat has done considerably better than most states, ranking No fourth among 20 major states. Those who do better than Gujarat in urban IMR are Kerala (9 per 1000), Maharashtra (16 per 1000), and Tamil Nadu (17 per 1000). Uttarakhand equals Gujarat with 22 IMR per 1000.
Clearly, things have not changed for rural Gujarat over the years after an initial push, when IMR began improving for Gujarat, as for all other states despite expert warnings. In 2009, Prof Dileep Mavlankar, formerly at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and now director of the Public Health Foundation of India, Gandhinagar, wrote in a paper, “Maternal Health in Gujarat, India: A Case Study”, pointed towards towards reasons for this.
Prof Mavlankar said (click here see HERE), “Standards of health infrastructure, equipment, logis­tical and administrative support differ according to the level of health facility. Higher-level facilities, e.g. medical colleges and district hospital, tend to have more infrastructure, equipment, and trained staff than do the Community Health Centres (CHCs), Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and subcentres. The general maintenance of the facilities influences the quality of services.”
Poor rural IMR in Gujarat has meant a huge gap of 22 per 1000 between rural and urban IMR – which is higher than all major states with the exception of Assam (24 per 1000). Assam’s rural IMR is 56 per 1000 as against 32 in urban areas, suggesting a gap of 24, and Gujarat and Rajasthan come next. The lowest rural-urban gap is that of Kerala, just about four (13 rural and nine urban), followed by Punjab, five (28 in rural and 23 in urban). 
Gujarat’s poor rural IMR is, indeed, pulling Gujarat away from achieving the UN Millennium Development Goal for IMR — 27 per 1000 in 2015. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), only six states, “namely Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and West Bengal, are likely to achieve the goal by 2015.” Clearly, Gujarat does not figure in the list, thanks mainly to poor rural IMR.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Paid media, liberal conspiracy, secular, Muslim, Marxists. All of them conspiracy against dear leaders. I think the kids choose to die to give a bad name to modiji.

I am a Chaddi / sanghi troll / bhakt. This is my standard reply.

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