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Maternal and infant mortality rates

India seems to be progressing well on one of its millennium development goals: lowering maternal and infant mortality rates. The Hindu reports:

India has impressively brought down its maternal and infant mortality rates, indicating that it was close to achieving the millennium development goals (MDGs) set by the United Nations though the total fertility rate (TFR) has remained stationary after showing a decline during the past few years.

The maternal mortality ratio (MMR) – number of women dying due to maternal causes per 1, 00, 000 live births – has come down to 212 (2007-09) from 254 in 2004-06. The MDG target for India is to bring down maternal deaths to 109 by 2015. Similarly, the infant mortality rate (IMR) – the number of infant deaths per 1,000 live births – has registered a 3 point decline at 50 from 53 in 2008, thought every 6th death in the country pertains to an infant. Sadly enough, the mortality rate of girls is higher than boys indicating a “worrisome trend” for the government.

The under 5 mortality rate (U5MR), denoting the number of children (0-4 years) who die before reaching an age of five years, has declined by 5 points over 2008 to touch 64 in 2009 as against 69 in 2008. However, the average number of children born to a woman during her entire reproductive period or the total fertility rate (TFR) remained stationary at 2.6 during 2008 to 2009.

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Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

July 8, 2011 at 5:45 am

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