Reduction in infant mortality rate in Bihar but malnutrition is not decreasing


Bihar has succeeded in keeping the newborns safe, but is still far behind in terms of their nutrition. The infant mortality rate (IMR) in the state is 29 per thousand, on the other hand 41 percent of the children here are malnourished. In Bihar, the infant mortality rate has decreased by 23 points in the last ten years. According to a report of the Sample Registration Survey, now this figure has come down from 52 in 2009 to 29 per thousand in 2019. But in the case of malnutrition, the situation is dire. Maharashtra, Bihar and Gujarat have the highest number of malnourished children in the country. In Bihar, 41 percent of children below the age of five are malnourished. If children of all age groups are included, then this figure reaches 42.9 percent. This figure is likely to increase further due to the Corona epidemic. Considering this reduction in IMR during the Corona period as a big achievement, the state government considers it the result of extensive efforts made in the field of healthcare. State Health Minister Mangal Pandey says, “It was a big challenge to stop the IMR from rising during the corona epidemic. This major achievement has been achieved in the field of child health amidst the challenges of infection. The situation has improved a lot in the state due to the presence of various antenatal facilities in health institutions and home based newborn care, vulnerable newborn care programmes, institutional deliveries and special new born care units run by the department. At the same time, according to the data of National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-5 (Year 2019-20), the Neonatal Mortality Rate (NNMR) in Bihar is 34.

5, infant mortality rate (IMR) is 46.8 and child (under five MR) mortality rate is 56.4 percent. According to a report, about 25 children in a thousand lose their lives within 28 days. These 28 days are considered very important for the development of children. In this episode, National Newborn Baby Week is being celebrated from November 15, so that newborns can be made Ayushman. During this, along with child health, people will be made aware about their better care. Along with this, Asha Didis will also be motivated to take care of the health of the newborn by visiting the maternity house from the first day of institutional delivery. Along with this, a team of experts will visit the hospitals of the district to improve the operation of the Special Newborn Care Unit and the Newborn Care Corner. Asha (Accredited Social Health Activist) Didis have a big role to play in taking the benefits of programs run by the Health Department at the central or state level to pregnant women and newborns and babies. Home Based Newborn Care (HBNC) has been further empowered to more than 92 thousand ASHA workers and ASHA facilitators in the state. In the month of August, they were given a kit containing a digital watch, digital thermometer, feeding spoon, weighing scale, torch and baby blanket so that after examining the newborn at home, if any symptoms are seen, he can be sent to the health centers immediately. It should be noted that the infant (below 28 days of age), infant (365 days age group) and child (one to five years of age) mortality has been found to be higher in rural areas as compared to urban children. Photos: Give garbage, take books According to the NFHS-5 report, the number of institutional deliveries in Bihar has increased from 64 to 76 percent in four years. Free arrangements have been made for ambulances to take pregnant women to health centers or hospitals for delivery. Women who give birth in government health centers are given Rs 1400 as incentive and Rs 600 is also given to Asha Didi, who brings them to health centers for the purpose of promoting institutional delivery.


Malnutrition not decreasing Malnutrition has been considered the main cause of death of children under five years of age worldwide. Research studies have shown that the lack of proper nutrition weakens the immunity of children, due to which such children are vulnerable to various infectious diseases. According to the data of National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-5 (Year 2019-20), cases of malnutrition among children under five years of age have increased in most states of the country in the last five years. Experts say that for six months after birth, only mother’s milk and after six months, apart from mother’s milk, upper diet is necessary for children. Very few children get proper and adequate nutritional supplements and they eventually become malnourished. A large number of women are anemic. Obviously, it is necessary for the mother to be healthy and fully nourished for the breastfeeding of the children. But, according to the NFHS-5 data, serious problems like anemia in children as well as pregnant women are increasing. The weight of 23 percent children of the state does not increase according to their age and height. According to experts, malnutrition with thinness is the most dangerous. According to this report, Sheohar is the topmost district in the state in terms of malnutrition, where the number of malnourished children has increased by 20 percent. Jehanabad is second with 17 percent growth and Rohtas is third with 12 percent growth. Similarly, Nalanda tops in terms of lack of blood in the body, where the number of anemic patients has increased by six percent in the last four years as compared to the previous report. Jamui is at number two. Obviously, in this situation, special attention needs to be paid to pregnant women so that healthy children can be born. According to NFHS-5 data, 69 per cent children in Bihar between six months to four years and nine months are anaemic, while 63.5 per cent women in the age group of 15 to 49 years are anemic.

At the same time, this figure has increased to 63 percent in pregnant women of the same age group. 66% of girls aged 15 to 19 are anemic. However, the number of pregnant women getting tested has increased and the number of women taking iron pills during pregnancy has also increased by eight percent. By the way, half of the cases of anemia in the whole country are due to non-consumption or insufficient intake of iron and vitamin B-9 and B-12 tablets. The government is trying that the condition of more than eight percent of the five-year-old children in Bihar is critical in terms of malnutrition. For such children, the government has set up Nutrition Rehabilitation Centers (NRCs). CBCE (Community Based Care Standard) and Feeding Demonstrator have been appointed for proper care of malnourished children at these centers, whose job is to take malnourished children to nutrition centers and make parents aware about it. However, complaints of not working properly of these centers have also been received continuously. The government has also made a separate budget provision for the care of malnourished children, provision of nutritious food and their treatment. Apart from this, programs like nutrition fortnight, nutrition month are also organized from time to time. Rural Health and Nutrition Day is celebrated on one day in every month. On this day ASHA and Anganwadi workers call the women and children of the village to the Anganwadi centers and they are given information related to nutrition and health, such as personal hygiene, good eating habits, mother-child care, family planning and vaccination. Is. Indeed, despite government efforts, the coronavirus pandemic is also an important factor behind the magnitude of the figures, which has had a negative impact on almost all social and economic indicators. Children in Bihar face severe deprivation due to widespread poverty, poor institutional health infrastructure, gender inequality, lack of basic facilities and frequent natural calamities.


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