If the child-health indicators released recently are to be believed, the status of child health in Kerala has worsened in the past few years.
The infant mortality rate (IMR) of children aged below one per 1,000 live births is 12 now but it was 11 in 2001. Similarly, underweight children aged below five were 22.1% in 1992-93 as against 18.5% in 2013-14, The Times of India reports.
The rate of Neonatal mortality (NMR) has also been considerable increased in the state are six per 1,000 live births in 2013 as against 10 in 2001. “Though Kerala is far ahead in many social indices like literacy, indicators such as IMR, NMR, weight and anaemia among children continue to be stagnant in the state for nearly two decades,“ Job Zachariah, chief of Unicef field office for Tamil Nadu & Kerala, told TOI.
He also added that anaemic children in Kerala stood at 48.5% according as per a 2012-13 survey as against 43.9% in 1998-99. Similarly, children aged 6-35 months exclusively breastfed for the first six months stood at 20.9% as against 22.7% in 2002.
Social justice minister M K Muneer said that government has been putting efforts to bring down the IMR rate in tribal areas.
“The Janani-Jatak software monitors the condition of infants and mothers in Attapadi and it will be extended to Wayanad soon.” he said.