State tops South in infant, mother mortality rate

State tops South  in infant, mother mortality rate

 The infant mortality rate (IMR) is higher in the State compared to other South Indian states, according to S Selva Kumar, State mission director of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).

For every 10 lakh children born every year in the State, nearly 35,000 die even before completing one year. This compares poorly with Kerala, which has reported 12,000 infant deaths, said Kumar. The officer said folk dance and drama were an effective means to create awareness on health among the people.

He was addressing folk artistes from the song and drama division of the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, at the inauguration of an orientation-cum-workshop on the public health awareness campaign in the city on Wednesday.

“We are not able to bring down the infant mortality rate and maternal mortality rate as we have failed to change people’s attitude to mother-child healthcare. Folk artistes can influence people to a large extent through their campaign better than health workers,” he said.

According to NRHM reports, the IMR for 2011 in the State is 31, which means for every 1,000 live births, 31 babies die before completing one year. The mother mortality rate (MMR) stands at 125 (125 deaths for every one lakh live births). The State NRHM has an IMR target of 25 and an MMR target of 100 by the end of 2012.   

Kumar said they had been able to achieve only a 43 per cent success in the mass campaign about the importance of breast feeding soon after child birth, despite involving Asha workers. This means 57 per cent of the mothers do not feed their children soon after delivery, Kumar said.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
He said most of the MMR cases were expectant mothers with a history of anaemia.
The government supplies IFA (Iron Folic Acid) tablets,  but there have been cases of anaemic mothers refusing to take the tablets, as they have side effects initially.  
Cultural troupes will perform Dollu Kunitha, Veeragase, Gee Gee pada and other folk art forms to create awareness about healthcare in the days to come.      

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