Lancet study on Under-5 Mortality in India
A study by the researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the US analysed state-level Indian data on the causes of death among children under five for the years 2000-2015. The study was published in the journal Lancet.
Findings of the Study
- India had more deaths among children under five than any other country in 2015. There were large disparities in the child mortality rate between richer and poorer states.
- India has made great progress during the period, reducing annual mortality among children under five from 2.5 million in 2000 to 1.2 million in 2015 which was still the highest in the world.
- Most under-five deaths were due to preterm complications, preventable infectious diseases featured prominently as causes of death in higher-mortality states.
- Under the Millennium Development Goal to reduce the under-five mortality rate in 2015 to one-third of the 1990 figure. India was able to reduce the under-five mortality rate to 39 deaths per 1,000 live births. With 47.8 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2015, India fell behind.
- The leading cause of death for children under five was preterm birth complications and the second on the list was pneumonia which was followed by infectious illnesses.
Numbers from the Study
- Even though India reduced annual mortality among children under five from 2.5 million in 2000 (90.5 per 1,000 live births) to 1.2 million in 2015 (out of 2.5 million live births, or 47.8 per 1,000), it was still the highest in the world.
- Among the states, the highest mortality rate, in Assam at 73.1 per 1,000, was more than seven times that in Goa s 9.7.
- Among the regions, the mortality rate ranged from a low of 29.7 per 1,000 (South) to 63.8 (Northeast).
The study concludes that India can accelerate its reduction of under-five mortality rates by scaling up vaccine coverage and improving childbirth and neonatal care, especially in states where mortality rates remain high.
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