India achieves landmark child mortality reduction; poised to meet SDG 2030 targets



India has achieved a sustained decline in its child mortality rate, a landmark achievement according to the government.

As per the Sample Registration System (SRS) Statistical Report, 2020 released on 22 September 22, 2022, by the Registrar General of India (RGI), the country has been witnessing a progressive reduction in infant mortality rate (IMR), under 5 mortality rate (U5MR), and neonatal mortality rate (NMR) since 2014 towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) targets by 2030.

The Union Health and Family Welfare Minister, Mansukh Mandaviya on Friday, September 22, congratulated the nation on this achievement and thanked all health workers, caregivers, and community members for relentlessly working towards reducing child mortality.

“There has been sustained decline since 2014, as revealed by SRS 2020. India is poised to meet 2030 SDG targets for child mortality with focused interventions, strong center-state partnership, and dedication of all health workers,” he stated.

The U5MR for the country has shown a significant decline of 3 points (Annual Decline Rate: 8.6%) from 2019 (32 per 1000 births in 2020 against 35 per 1000 births in 2019). It varies from 36 in rural areas to 21 in urban areas. U5MR for females is higher (33) than for males (31). There has been a decline of 4 points in male U5MR and 3 points in female U5MR during the corresponding period.

The highest decline of U5MR has been recorded in Uttar Pradesh (5 points) and Karnataka (5 points).

IMR has also registered a 2-point decline to 28 per 1000 births in 2020 from 30 per 1000 births in 2019. This shows an Annual Decline Rate of 6.7%. The rural-urban difference in child mortality rates too has narrowed to 12 points (Urban 19, Rural 31).

Another good tiding is that no gender differential has been observed in 2020 (Male -28, Female – 28).

NMR too has declined by 2 points from 22 per 1000 births in 2019 to 20 per 1000 births in 2020, an Annual Decline Rate of 9.1%. It ranges from 12 in urban areas to 23 in rural areas.

As per the SRS 2020 report, six states and union territories have already attained the SDG target of NMR of less than or equal to 12. Kerala (4), Delhi (9), Tamil Nadu (9), Maharashtra (11), Jammu & Kashmir (12), and Punjab (12).

Eleven (11) states and union territories also have attained SDGs for U5MR of less than or equal to 25 by 2030). Kerala (8), Tamil Nadu (13), Delhi (14), Maharashtra (18), J&K (17), Karnataka (21), Punjab (22), West Bengal (22), Telangana (23), Gujarat (24), and Himachal Pradesh (24).



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