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Life expectancy in Gujarat is 64.1 years, IMR 48, MMR 160

Life expectancy in Gujarat is 64.1 years, IMR 48, MMR 160
New Delhi/Ahmedabad, 18 March, 2011

Although India has lower maternal mortality ratio (MMR) compared to the developing countries, some health indicators need improvement. Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad, the union minister of health and family welfare stated in a written reply in rajya sabha on Tuesday in response to a question from Mr. Parimal Nathwani, an independent member of the house from Jharkhand. Mr. Nathawani wanted to know the performance of country’s health-related indicators in comparison with developing countries.

As per the UNICEF publication entitled ‘the State of the World’s Children-2011’, the life expectancy rate in years at birth in the year 2009 in India was 64 as against 67 in developing countries; the infant mortality rate (IMR) per 1000 live births in 2009 was 50 in the country in comparison of 47 in developing countries; and percentage of underweight prevalence in children under five years of age during 2003-2009 was 48 in India compared to 26 per cent in developing countries. These are the health indicators which need improvement.

The only indicator India can boast of having an edge over developing countries is the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) of 230 per one lakh live births in 2008; which was 290 in developing countries. It is satisfying to some extent only, as we are better in MMR than our neighbors Bangladesh and Pakistan where the same is 340 and 260 respectively. We have still a long way to catch up with the other countries such as China, Vietnam and even Sri Lanka where the MMR per one lakh live births is in very impressive double digit figures of 38, 56 and 39 respectively.

Similarly, in terms of the life expectancy in years at birth in the year 2009, as against India’s 64; China with 73, Vietnam with 75, Bangladesh with 67, Pakistan with 67, and Sri Lanka with 74 stood ahead of us. In case of infant mortality rate (IMR) per 1000 live births in 2009 too, we with IMR of 50 were better than only Pakistan‘s IMR of 71. IMRs of China (17), Vietnam (20), Bangladesh (41) and Sri Lanka (13) were far better than us.

In accordance with the Registrar General of India, health performance of Kerala is the best in the country with life expectancy in years at birth of 74, IMR of only 12 per one thousand live births and MMR of only 95 per one lakh live births. Madhya Pradesh has the poor record of life expectancy of 58 and IMR of 67 in the country. The state of Assam has the maximum MMR of 480 per one lakh live births. The same indicators for Gujarat show a reasonable performance with life expectancy of 64.1, IMR of 48 per 1000 live births and MMR of 160 per one lakh live births.

As per National Family Health Survey (2005-06), in Gujarat the percentage of underweight children of five years and below was 44.6. In this aspect too, Kerala was on top with only 22.9 per cent of underweight children of five years and below age; while Bihar had maximum of 55.9 per cent underweight children. The minister’s statement submitted the figures of only 15 Indian states.

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  1. Hari (गामडियो) says:

    It is a shame that this goondaaraj Kangress can get information only for 15 states. How can they claim to be a National party when they have no clue on the whereabouts of health in almost half of other states.

  2. Ashok says:

    Wow for the most industrialized state we have a long way to go. 44.6% of kids in our state are underweight which is sad. Hopefully the schemes put in by the state government work faster and more efficiently.

  3. bhavik says:

    These numbers contradict the figures on CIA.gov. This website is a great reference and used for various research/ macro level analysis too.

    According to CIA.gov website, the life expectancy in India is 66.8 years (against 64 provided in the UNICEF report); IMR i 47.57 (against 50 in the UNICEF report).

    The question raised by Mr. Nathwani is extremely important. The answers provided by the government quotes UNICEF Report. Does India have its own method of measuring this information? Or should we rely on the contradictory information provided by CIA.gov or UNICEF or dozens of other organization? The main issue is do we care? I don’t think that Indian government cares for this. Should we look into the trend over the period of time to see if there is any improvement? Explore this further to understand how can we improve more. Shouldn’t we benchmark against the best practices in the world? So many things can be done.



    In fact citing important of this issue, DeshGujarat had published a latest data of IMR in its 4 February article. Worth studying it.



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