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India's infant mortality rate dips
Thursday July 17, 2014 9:12 PM, IANS

India has seen a dip in its infant mortality and fertility rates, official figures released here Thursday showed.

The infant mortality rate in India has declined from 47 per 100,000 live births in 2010 to 42 in 2012, according to the National Health Profile, 2013.

The National Health Profile, released by union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, said the total fertility rate also continued to fall.

The figures also highlighted that the health infrastructure in the country remains below international standards at present with only 628,000 hospital beds and 918,000 allopathic doctors for over 1.25 billion people in the country.

There are also wild differences in health facilities available to people as evident by the fact that the infant mortality rate - a key human development index - in Kerala was only 66 per 100,000 live births while it was 328 in Assam in 2010-12.

Madhya Pradesh reported the maximum number of foeticide and infanticide cases, it said.

Harsh Vardhan emphasised on the critical importance of reliable countrywise data in all sectors of healthcare covering not only public health professionals, but also the various stakeholders.

"A comprehensive healthcare database showing region-wise and location-wise availability of doctors, nurses, chemists, dispensaries, private practitioners and other human and health infrastructure will go a long way in building up our capacity of dealing with any health emergency," he noted.

The minister asked his officials to compile details of all government and private hospitals, their facilities and prevalence of different ailments in different regions.

"If Election Commission and census officials can have all details of the people of this country, then I am sure we can also do this," he said.

In his recent visit to the United States, he said he was shown real time health data being observed by the health officials there and it felt like a "war room".

"Such data would enable the policy makers in sound planning and effective implementation of various schemes," he said.




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