Despite the progress India has made in cutting down child mortality rate, the country has topped the list with 47.8 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2015, new research has found.
During 2000-2015, the annual mortality among children under five had a dip from 2.5 million in 2000 to 1.2 million in 2015, according to the study published in the journal Lancet Global Health.
However, the country had larger disparities in the under-five mortality rate between richer and poorer states. The highest mortality rate was in a northeastern state in India Assam with more than seven-time that in the western state of Goa. Though most under-five deaths were owed to preterm complications, preventable infectious diseases featured prominently as causes of death in higher-mortality states.
"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," said study co-lead author Li Liu, Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the United States.
For the study, the researchers analyzed state-level Indian data on the causes of death among children under five for the years 2000-2015. In 2017, India's under-five mortality rate matched the global average (39 deaths per 1,000 live births), according to a report released on September 18, 2018, by the United Nations Inter-Agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation.
By Sowmya Sangam