Nagpur: Exposing yet another alarming trend, the number of infants dying in Maharashtra has peaked new height. From September 2017 to January 2018 ie in just 5 months as many as 995 infants in 0-6 months age bracket died in Maharashtra.
This was informed by Minister for women and child development Pankaja Munde, as she filed a written reply to a starred question tabled in the state assembly on Monday.
She was answering to a question whether there was any significant increase in infant mortality cases and if they were linked to malnutrition prevalent among expectant mothers and specific to residents living in hilly terrain.
The minister’s reply indicated the issue of high rate of infant deaths, prevailing for three decades, was no longer restricted to hilly regions like Melghat in Vidarbha’s Amravati or some pockets in Thane, but had now spread over to 16 districts. She said that in 2017, the number of infant deaths recorded in the 16 districts was 2,161. In the above-mentioned five months, however, the number of infant deaths in the 0-6 months age bracket was 133 in Melghat and 995 across the state.
She also cited malnutrition cases among infants, saying figures collected for December last in Nashik showed the total at 6,663 and in Aurangabad at 3,575, as per Integrated Child Development Scheme data. But Munde said malnutrition was not the sole cause of infant mortality but premature births, low birth weight, diseases like malaria, sicklecell and pneumonia were also responsible.