As per a recently published report by the Sample Registration Survey (SRS), the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) in Assam was the second worst in the country at 44 deaths in 2017. Among the poorest performing states, Assam was only second to Madhya Pradesh where the IMR is 47, the highest in the country.
IMR is the number of deaths per 1,000 live births in a given time period and is an important indicator of the overall health scenario. The SRS report revealed that Assam’s IMR is much higher than the national average which stood at 33 for 2017. The State’s IMR stood at 44 in 2016, and it remained steady in 2017.
Experts blame poor ante-natal care, lack of awareness about contraception and diarrhoea among infants as some of the major reasons behind the State’s poor maternal and child health indicators.
‘Our peripheral healthcare system is not good enough and needs to be strengthened. The patients keep getting referred when they visit a healthcare facility near their houses,’ informed Dr Tanma Saikia Das, a Guwahati-based gynecologist who works at a government hospital. She further added that the doctors are reluctant to stay and work at remote places.