Tribune News Service
Dehradun, May 7
Worried at the increasing number of children dying at birth, the Department of Health has decided to undertake regular audit of death of infants in all the districts of the state. The Chief Medical officers (CMOs) have been entrusted with the task for carrying out the audit.
In Uttarakhand the infant mortality rate (IMR) is now 38 deaths per thousand births, which is an increase in four points over last year, according the annual survey conducted by the ministry of health. Despite the implementation of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), Uttarakhand has failed to improve the track record. It was part of the nine Empowered Action Group (EAG) states comprising Bihar, Assam, MP, UP, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Rajasthan where infant mortality was very high. However while most of these states have reduced the number of deaths, Uttarakhand happens to be the only state where the number has increased in 2016-2017.
Chief minister TS Rawat, who heads the portfolio of health, has instructed the department of health to ensure the number is brought to down to 30 per 1000 live births by 2020.
“We will now take up the death audit of infants in all the districts, wherein the reason for the deaths and other details too would be reported,” said Dr Archana Srivastav, DG, Health. In Uttarakhand, the maternal audit is already under way. It was carried as part of the NHM to curb maternal deaths.
In order to ensure the death audit is carried, all the Chief Medical officers (CMO) have been asked to maintain records of the death of infants. In Uttarakhand, Haridwar district has the highest IMR at 64 per 1000 births.
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