Six months apart, govt dishes out contradictory details
Srinagar: How many infants died in Jammu and Kashmir in 2015-16? If you think a clear answer can be simply had from the government, think again.
According to the latest Economic Survey Report (ESR), tabled earlier this week in the state legislative assembly by the ruling PDP-BJP government’s education minister, 682 infant deaths were reported in 2015-16.
For the same period—2015-16, Minister Health and Medical Education, Bali Bhagat informed Legislative Council in June last year that 2,034 infant deaths occurred in the state.
In 2014-15, the minister had informed that 2,008 infant deaths were reported while the economic survey report for the same period puts the number at 361.
Not only the figures mentioned in ESR contradict with the minister’s written reply, it’s at variance with last year’s economic survey report itself regarding the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) is the state. The IMR, which indicates the death of children before the age of one year per thousand live births, is a very sensitive demographic indicator of the health and nutritional status of population.
In the latest report, the IMR is claimed to have fallen from 52 in 2006 to 34 in 2014. Last year’s ESR says: “the IMR has fallen from 52 in 2006 to 37 in 2014.”
The minister had stated that as per a sample registration system, the infant mortality rate in the state was 51 in 2007 which had come down to 37 in 2013, better than the national average of 40. The IMR in 2013, as per the previous ESR was 39 while national average is shown to be 42.
The previous and the latest ESR reports are also variance when it comes to another health indicator, Total Fertility Rate (TFR), which measures the number of children born to a women during her entire re-productive period.
While latest ESR says that TFR has also come down to 1.7 from 2.3 (2014), previous report show TFR to be 1.9 in 2014.
The State has stressed need for continuing the family planning activities to sustain the level of fertility.
During the year 2015-16, 451 male and 12454 female sterilizations were conducted, as per the latest ESR. However, the numbers are lesser than 2013-14 when 638 male and 15560 female sterilizations were done.
“The main objective of the family welfare programme is to provide beneficiaries the need based, clientele centered with ultimate aim of population stabilization and immunization,” it said.