After leading in female literacy for decades, the state of Kerala is now a pioneer in India for having the lowest infant mortality rate (IMR). Bringing down the number of children who die under the age of 1 per 1000 live births, Kerala has achieved a single digit IMR of 6, compared to 15 in 2005-06.
Kerala’s IMR is now as good as America’s, reports Rema Nagarajan for Times of India.
The numbers were published in the latest National Family Health Survey (NFHS), which was recently released, 10 years after the last such survey was done.
According to NFHS 2015-16, the national IMR is at 41, from 57 in 2005-06. Kerala is primarily responsible for the drop, and the state closest to it is Tamil Nadu with an IMR of 21.
The state has also improved indicators of under-5 child mortality, which stands at 7 compared to 16 in the last survey.
And while the child sex ratio (number of girls under the age of five per thousand boys) for India stands at 919, just a little better than the 2011 census figure of 914, Kerala has outdone India in this aspect as well.
The CSR for the state now stands at 1047 - much higher than 925 reported in the last NFHS. This means that compared to the rest of India, Kerala is perhaps implementing the ban on sex selection much better.