India has saved about 1 million (10 lakh) children under age five since 2005, due to significant decline in mortality rate from pneumonia, diarrhoea, neonatal infections and birth asphyxia/trauma, measles and tetanus, says the latest study published in the the Lancet.
The ‘India’s Million Death Study’, implemented by the Registrar General of India, is the first study to directly quantify changes in cause-specific child deaths in India, nationally and sub-nationally, from 2000-15 among randomly selected homes, said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
According to the study, pneumonia and diarrhea mortality fell by over 60% mostly due to effective treatment; and mortality from birth-related breathing and trauma during delivery fell by 66% due to more births occurring in hospital. Moreover, measles and tetanus mortality fell by 90% mostly due to special immunisation campaigns.
“Mortality rate (per 1000 live births) fell in neonates from 45 in 2000 to 27 in 2015 (3.3% annual decline) and 1-59 month mortality rate fell from 45.2 in 2000 to 19.6 in 2015 (5.4% annual decline),” says the study.
This is a direct study based on face-to-face interviews with families, and is not based on modeling or projections from small samples. “The strategic approach of the Health Ministry has started yielding dividends and the efforts of focusing on low performing States is paying off,” the Ministry said.