Madhya Pradesh tops the country with Odisha in infant deaths within first seven days of life per 1,000 births, according to the 2014 Sample Registration System (SRS) survey, released on Tuesday by the registrar general of India.
MP recorded the highest early neo-natal mortality rate (infant deaths in less than seven days of life per 1,000 live births) of 26, compared to 20 at the national level, said the survey report that contains data on mortality and fertility indicators for 22 bigger states.
Infant deaths in first seven days of life had been reported for the first time in the SRS survey, health experts said.
The state also recorded the highest death rate for children in the 5-14 age group -- 1.3 deaths per year per 1,000 people. At the national level, the rate is 0.7.
At a time when the spotlight is on the malnutrition deaths in Sheopur district, the report painted a grim picture of the state’s healthcare for children and mothers.
The state reported second highest under-five mortality rate, second highest neo-natal (less than 29 days) deaths and second highest crude death rate (deaths per year per 1,000 people) among the bigger states, according to the survey.
MP’s crude death rate (CDR) was 7.8 – second highest after Odisha’s 7.9. At the national level, CDR was 6.7 in 2014.
In under-five mortality rate, MP stood second with 65 deaths per 1,000 births after Assam’s 66. The under-five mortality rate is higher among female children in MP (70) than males (60).
At the national level, the neo-natal mortality rate is 26, compared to 35 in MP, second highest after Odisha’s 36.
Health experts said mortality rates exposed shortage of doctors and lack of primary healthcare infrastructure in rural areas of the state.
“The survey results show child health progamme has not been properly implemented, especially in rural areas of the state. Maternal and newborn care at the block level remains weak,” said Sachin Jain, director of Vikas Samvad.
“The distance is becoming a major factor in rural areas when it comes to last-mile delivery of maternal and neonatal healthcare. In recent times, there were reports of people bringing pregnant women on cycles and on foot to the nearest health facilities,” said Jain who has been working for the cause of healthcare in MP.
“The state government has to take a lead in delivery of healthcare at all levels and avoid semi-privatisation.”
Women activist Rolly Shivhare said, “Despite tall claims of the state government, the survey puts a question mark on the delivery of healthcare. When so many infants are dying in the first seven days, there is something fundamentally wrong with our neonatal and maternal care at the grassroots level.”
Under-Five mortality, called UFMR, refers to the death of infants and children under the age of five. The rate is calculated as the probability of dying between birth and exactly five years of age and is expressed per 1,000 live births.
A neonatal death is defined as a death during the first 28 days of life and neonatal mortality rate (NMR) as the probability of dying in the first month of life expressed as per 1,000 live births.
Crude birth rate (CBR) , computed as a ratio, is the number of live births per 1,000 of the population estimated at midyear
Crude death rate (CDR) is the total number of deaths per year per 1,000 people.