Mumbai: The number of infant deaths in Maharashtra has risen over the last three years, with 16,539 newborns losing their lives in 2018-19 alone, the state government admitted in the Legislative Assembly on Friday.
In a written reply, Health Minister Eknath Shinde said these infant deaths were caused due to infection, pneumonia, less weight and breathing defect at birth and not because of lack of facilities like incubators, ventilators or expert medical attention.
As per the report of the Health Management Information System (HMIS), 16,539 newborn babies died in 2018-19, he said.
In 2016-17, the number of infant deaths was 10,384, while it was 13,069 in 2017-18, the minister said.
As per the HMIS report, in April-August 2017, Solapur district alone witnessed deaths of 309 infants.
Shinde said the state government has now set the target of bringing down the infant mortality rate to 10 per 1,000 live births by 2030.
In 2014, the rate was 22 per 1,000 live birth, while it is 19 at present, Shinde said.