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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

High mortality rate worries govt in Orissa

Source :Times of India,Bhubaneswar,16 Feb 2010

The state has witnessed a fall in birth rate between 2002 and 2008. At the same time, the infant mortality rate (IMR) has gone up. According to the Population Foundation of India (PFI), crude birth rate has come down from 23.2 in 2002 to 21.4 in 2008, while the state has second highest IMR in the country with 69 per 1,000 live births.

"This is an unusual demographic situation that may lead to many problems. Orissa needs to urgently bring down its IMR and Maternal Mortality rate (MMR)," executive director of PFI A R Nanda said at the regional conference on population, health and social development here on Tuesday.

"The state government should emphasize on primary health care by strengthening community and village-level planning and strict implementation of the programmes launched so far," he said.

Nanda said Orissa also suffers from "double burden syndrome", ie, the state is equally at risk from diseases of poverty and affluence. "While people living in poverty experience diseases that result from lack of resources, affluent individuals suffer from diseases resulting from an abundance of resources," he said.

Health minister Prasanna Acharya said, "The state government has been trying hard to reduce IMR from 90 to 69 per 1,000 child births and MMR from 365 to 303 per one lakh child births in the last few years. Besides, launching programmes, we have to create awareness on social issues like not to marry off girls at an early age, which leads to death of both mother and child."

Senior advisor of PFI Dr Almas Ali said, "In Orissa we have to give importance on three Ms, malnutrition, malaria and mortality rate, to improve the general health. Despite so many constraints, Orissa is among the few states to achieve replacement level of fertility, while the situation is quite grim in Bihar and Jharkhand."

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