For the 10th year in a row, Madhya Pradesh has emerged the worst place in the country to be born in, registering an infant mortality rate (IMR) of 56 per 1,000 live births, according to the Sample Registration System.
This means out of every 1,000 children born in MP, 56 do not survive up to their first birthday.
Even though the number of infants succumbing in state has come down by three points compared to 2011, when the IMR was 59 per 1000 lives, it is not good enough for the state to shake off the infamous tag of having the highest mortality rate for infants among all 29 state states and six union territories in India. The Sample Registration System (SRS) data for 2012 was released by the office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India on Thursday.
IMR is the number of infants (per 1000 births) succumbing before attaining the age of one year and is a major health and development indicator for a state.
The worrying fact is that this is the 10th straight year that the SRS puts the IMR of Madhya Pradesh as highest in the country. Till 2003, Odisha (83) had higher IMR than MP (82). But having improved the scenario far better during the last decade, Odisha now has the third worst IMR in country at 53, the same as Uttar Pradesh, both having shown a dip of four points in course of past one year (2011 to 2012). Assam with IMR of 55 is placed at second worst place.
Scenario is worst in rural MP, where 60 out of every 1000 children born continue to die before age of one year.
As for the national average, the IMR for the country is 42 infant deaths per thousand live births, a two-point drop from the IMR of 2011 (44). The IMR for rural India is 46. The best performers in country are the small states of Goa and Manipur, where the IMR is just 10 per 1000 live births.
High birth and death rates: The SRS 2012 data also shows that Madhya Pradesh has the third highest birth rate (26.6/1000 population) and the second highest death rate (8.1/1000 population) in the country.
Birth and deaths rates are two other important health and development indicators that indicate the success of population control measures and the quality of health services available.
Girl children more vulnerable
The latest IMR data again shows that the girl children continue to be more vulnerable across the country. The IMR for girls in Madhya Pradesh stands at 59 per 1000 live births compared to 54 for the boys. Rural girls are much more susceptible with 62 out of 1000 girls dying before the age of one year compared to 61 boys. The average IMR for girls in the country is 44 compared to 41 for the boys.