Child mortality highest in tribal areas

New Delhi: Child mortality rates in India are the highest in tribal areas with figures exceeding the national average, according to a new report.

The report 'Child Mortality among Adivasis in India' was prepared by the World Bank.

Replying to a written question in the Rajya Sabha as to whether the government was aware of the report, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Dinesh Trivedi replied in the affirmative.

Trivedi said child mortality can be attributed to a number of causes. The top causes of deaths among children 0-4 years are perinatal conditions (33 per cent), respiratory infections (22 per cent), diarrhoeal diseases (14 per cent), other infections (11 per cent), nutritional deficiencies (2.8 per cent) and congenital anomalies (2.7 per cent).

The government was taking steps through the National Rural Health Mission to address the problem, he said.

Replying to another question, he said the number of female foeticide cases in the country had seen a dip but has again increased last year.

As per information received from the National Crime Records Bureau, the number of reported cases of foeticide were 125, 96, 73 and 107 during the years 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 respectively.