India Works Towards Single Digit Neonatal Mortality Rate

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India Newborn Action Plan (INAP) was launched in 2014 to make concerted efforts towards attainment of the goals of "Single Digit Neonatal Mortality Rate" and "Single Digit Stillbirth Rate", by 2030.

As per Registrar General of India, Sample Registration System (SRS) 2013, the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) is 40 per 1000 live births and the Under-five Mortality Rate (U5MR) is 49 per 1000 live births.

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The measures undertaken to check high child mortality rate during the last three years and the current year, are as under:

  1. To sharpen the focus on the low performing districts, 184 High Priority Districts (HPDs) have been identified for implementation of Reproductive Maternal Newborn Child Health+ Adolescent (RMNCH+A) interventions for achieving improved maternal and child health outcomes.
  2. Newer interventions to reduce newborn mortality have also been implemented, including- Vitamin K injection at birth, Antenatal corticosteroids in preterm labour, Kangaroo Mother Care and empowering ANMs to provide Injection Gentamicin to young infants for possible serious bacterial infection.
  3. In order to increase awareness about the use of ORS and Zinc in diarrhoea, an Intensified Diarrhoea Control Fortnight (IDCF) is being observed during July-August, with the ultimate aim of 'zero child deaths due to childhood diarrhoea'. During fortnight health workers visit the households of under five children, conduct community level awareness generation activities and distribute ORS packets to the families with children under five years of age.
  4. To address anaemia, National Iron Plus Initiative (NIPI) has been launched which includes provision of supervised bi weekly iron folic acid supplementation by ASHA for all under-five children and biannual deworming.
  5. Recognising worm infestation as an important cause of anaemia, the first National Deworming Day (NDD) was observed on 10th February, 2015 in 11 States and UT targeting all children in the age group of 1-19 years (both school enrolled and non-enrolled). Total of 8.98 crore children received deworming tablet (Albendazole) during the National Deworming Day. The same will be observed on an annual basis.
  6. Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) has been launched (Feb 2013) to provide strategic interventions to address birth defects, delays and deficiencies and reduce out of pocket expenditure for the families on treatment by expanding the reach of mobile health teams at block level and establishing District Early Intervention Centres (DEICs) in the districts. An estimated 27 crore children in the age group of zero to eighteen years are expected to be covered in a phased manner. 13.3 lakhs have received free treatment including surgeries for congenital heart disease, cleft lip and correction of clubfoot etc.
  7. Birth Defects Surveillance System (BDSS) is being established to serve as a tool for identifying congenital anomalies. It is as a collaborative effort between the MoHFW, GoI, WHO and CDC.
  8. Mission Indradhanush which was launched on 25th December, 2014, seeks to drive toward 90% full immunisation coverage with all vaccines in the entire country by year 2020 with a high focus on the 201 identified districts.
  9. Mission Indradhanush Phase II has begun in 352 districts across the country (279 medium priority districts + 33 districts from North Eastern States + 44 districts from Phase I districts where large number of missed out children were detected during monitoring of phase I of Mission Indradhanush).

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