According to this article, Tamil Nadu’s low-cost health care model has recently been applauded for reducing infant mortality and maternal mortality between 1980 and 2005. Before 1980, 44 newborn babies out of every thousand child births died in India. In twenty five years, Tamil Nadu reduced it by 60 per cent, while the national average went down only by 45 per cent, and it cost the state government just one per cent of the GDP.
The two decade long programme began with establishing a network of more than 1,614 Primary Health Care Centres, and ensuring there is at least one in every block across the state. These were supported by district hospitals and medical college hospitals. Maternal care cash assistance was introduced and the money was paid in parts at various stages between pregnancy and immunisation for the new born. This encouraged pregnant women to avail medical care. Neo-natal care units and neo-natal ambulances have become a lifeline for underweight infants and premature babies. At the Kilpauk Medical College Hospital in Chennai, infants are also monitored by closed circuit cameras round the clock to ensure maximum care.
This multi-pronged approach by successive state governments is saving thousands of lives.
Initiative such as these should be adopted by more state governments so as to reduce India’s infant mortality rate further.
To read more on the current Infant Mortality Rate in India, you can also visit our page.
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