‘India to miss MDG on reducing under-five deaths’
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Last Updated: Sunday, July 10, 2011, 19:14
New Delhi: Despite the latest Sample Registration System data showing a decline in infant mortality rate, India is likely to miss the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on reducing under-five deaths, experts say.

MDGs are a set of eight targets laid down by the UN to measure achievements in human and social developments by the year 2015. Its fourth goal calls for reducing infant mortality rate (IMR) -- number of infant (below 1 year) deaths per 1000 live births -- to 28 and the Under 5 mortality (U5MR) to 42 per 1,000 live births.

The SRS data, released recently, shows that India has registered a 3-point decline in IMR -- from 53 in 2008 to 50 in 2009 -- and reduction of five points in U5MR from 69 in 2008 to 64 in 2009.

It also said that Kerala and Tamil Nadu (with IMR 12 and 28 respectively) have achieved the MDG target and four more states are close to the targets. The IMR in Delhi was 33, while it was 31 in Maharashtra and 33 in West Bengal.

Similarly, in U5MR, states like Kerala (14), Tamil Nadu (33), Maharashtra (36), Delhi (37) and West Bengal (40) have already achieved the MDG target of 42 by 2015, it said.

But according to experts, these states constitute only 22.6 per cent of India's under-5 population as against the Empowered Action Group States which constitute 63 per cent of the population.

"We know that some states are doing better than others in reducing the deaths of children under 5 years. But it remains that five to six states are keeping India from achieving the MDGs and it is here that we need to concentrate our efforts," said Thomas Chandy of international NGO Save the Children.

Dola Mahapatra, Director ChildFund India, said, "Some states, as the SRS data says, may have made some progress, but the country as a whole has a long way to go."


First Published: Sunday, July 10, 2011, 19:14

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