Child Mortality Rate Down in India

It's a welcome news for the crusaders striving to bring down child mortality rate in India. A new study published in medical journal 'Lancet' Monday has shown nearly 20 fewer children per 1,000 live births are dying in the country now before reaching 28 days of life, as compared to that two decades ago.

In the post-neonatal deaths category, India is now losing 15 fewer lives per 1,000 live births than it did in 1990. And among children in the age group of 1-4 years, nearly 30 fewer children are dying now as compared to the aforesaid period.

Not only in India, child deaths worldwide are falling faster than thought, the study reports. About 7.7 million children under-5 would die in 2010, a little above the half-way mark of nearly 12 million in 1990, scientists have predicted. They say the deaths this year would include 3.1 million neonatals, 2.3 million post-neonatals and 2.3 million kids in the 1-4 years' age group.

Conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, the research finds out that under-5 mortality rate has reduced by 35% after 1990, the global decline during the past 20 years being 2.1% annually for overall under-5 mortality. And the figures are 2.3% for post-neonatal mortality and 2.2% for mortality among kids in the 1 to 4 years age group.

"We're quite a bit further ahead than we thought," said Christopher Murray, one of the paper's authors and Director of IHME.