The trend of young motherhood in Madhya Pradesh has fatal consequences. One in 10 children (10.4%) born to girls under 19 years of age die, according to a recently released Census data.
More than 40,500 of the 3.89 lakh kids born to young mothers perished in Madhya Pradesh, an analysis of Census data on age of marriage, childbirth and survival rate shows.
The numbers in the state are higher than the national average of 9.6% mortality rate among children born to young mothers and one of the highest in the country, the analysis by NGO Vikas Samvad suggests. Only Rajasthan fares worse than MP with 10.5% mortality rate.
The data pertains to the Census of 2011, but was released by the office of Registrar General & Census Commissioner of India only recently.
Madhya Pradesh has the highest infant mortality rate (IMR) in the country according to the Sample Registration Survey (SRS) report of 2013, with 54 children per 1000 live births dying before their first birthday.
However, the latest Census data paints an even grimmer picture-it seems that in the case of children born to girls below 19 years of age, over 100 children per 1000 live births succumb, which is almost double of the normal IMR, Sachin Jain of Vikas Samvad said.
“It is clear that childbirth at a young age creates complications that cause higher mortality of children,” he said.
Senior paediatrician Dr Sheela Bhambal said motherhood at a young age aggravates the risk of premature childbirth, low birth weight babies and obstructed labour (complications at the time of child birth). All these factors cause higher mortality and morbidity among children as well as mothers.
“Also, young mothers are not mentally or physically capable of handling motherhood and easily get influenced to adopt wrong practices like inadequate breastfeeding, not maintaining hygienic conditions and so on. All these contribute to the issue,” she said.
Minister for women and child development Maya Singh mentioned that caring for pregnant, lactating mothers and newborn kids was the prime concern at the anganwadi centres of the department.
“With the help of field-level health workers, the anganwadi workers keep track of all pregnant women and ensure they get the due pre-natal care and also the care of the babies, including immunization and nutritional support. We try to do our best,” she said.
The analysis of the Census data shows that in India, 60,14,382 kids were born to girls under 19 years of age and of them 5,45,051 (9.6%) perished.
KIDS BORN TO GIRLS BELOW 19 YEARS
Number of births Those die
3,89,765 MP 40,559 MP
60,14,382 India 5,45,051 India
(Source: Census of India report of 2011, released in May 2015)