New Delhi: India has the highest infant mortality rate in the world, a nationwide survey reveals. India has slipped from 128 to 134 rank in 2009 according to a United Nations Human Development report.
Reacting to the report Union Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Teerath told CNN-IBN that she would take up the issue with the Health Department.
Save the Children, a voluntary group reports one infant dies every 15 seconds in the country. Over 4 lakh newborns die in the first 24 hours of their life and 90 per cent of deaths are due to preventable diseases like pneumonia and diarrhea.
The high mortality rate is also due to fact that India ranks 171 out of 175 countries in the world in public health spending. What is worse, it's the state in which the child is born that decides how long he would survive.
"Highest rate of malnutrition are in four of five states in India. Clearly the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) have failed to reach those for whom it has been designed," said Policy Head, Save the Children, Shireen Miller.
Uttar Pradesh has has the highest neo natal mortality rate with 96 deaths in 1,000 births, followed by Madhya Pradesh at 94, Orissa at 91 and 85 in Rajasthan.
Faced with such disturbing statistics, the Government is trying to rustle up an excuse. "We will take this up with the Health Ministry," said Teerath.
The NRHM aims to bring the infant mortality down to 30 per 1,000 births by 2012 and the ICDS programme focuses on providing nutrition supplement to children under the age of five.
But with shocking statistics coming to light the Government will have to answer as to why have these schemes failed to save the children.