The under-five child mortality rate fell by an average of four points during 2014 with Uttar Pradesh and Assam among the best performing states registering a 7-point decline each, the government today said.
It said the country is on track to bring the Under-5 Mortality Rate (U-5MR) further down and achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG).
The RGI Sample Registration Survey (SRS) on U-5MR for 2014 found 15 states/UTs registering a decline of four points and 16 that of three.
States like Bihar and Andhra Pradesh registered a decline of one point.
The SRS also found that Kerela was the only state to register an increase in U-5MR, by one point.
Union Health Minister JP Nadda said focussed, committed and targeted interventions by the government have borne “positive fruits” in 2014 and by the time the 2015 data comes, the country would have achieved the MDG target.
He said there was an 8.16 per cent decline in under-five mortality during 2013-2014 as compared to 5.76 per cent decline during 2012-2013.
In 2012-13, U-5MR had reduced from 52 to 49 (per 1000 live births) and to 45 the subsequent year, which is a decline of four points, he said.
“We have been able to save lives of approximately 1.26 lakh children,” Nadda said.
Noting that achieving U-5MR of 42 (per 1000 live births) is the MDG goal, he expressed hopes that when the SRS report for 2015 are available, “we would have achieved (the goal)”.
“Lot of intensive programmes have been undertaken in 2014 so we believe we will cover the three points (to reach the target),” Nadda said.
According to the data, 15 states have achieved a decline of more than four points, with Uttar Pradesh and Assam registering the highest decline of seven points each followed by Rajasthan and Odisha which registered a decline of six points each.
Other states in this category include Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, West Bengal (all recording a decline of 5 point); Gujarat, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab (all recording a decline of 4 point).
Sixteen states/UTs, however, registered a decline of three points. U-5MR declined by two points in Tamil Nadu.
“The success has been possible due to dedicated efforts during the neonatal period through establishment of special new-born care units (SNCU), systematic home visits by ASHA workers and improvement in quality institutional delivery,” Nadda said.
The rural-urban differential in U-5MR is reduced to 23 points in comparison to 26 points in 2013 indicating good progress in rural areas.