Mumbai News: Child Mortality Rate Rises By 21.3% In Infants Over 5 Years, Reveals BMC Data

Mumbai News: Child Mortality Rate Rises By 21.3% In Infants Over 5 Years, Reveals BMC Data

The total number of deaths in the five years stands at 9,972, said data.

Swapnil MishraUpdated: Wednesday, April 03, 2024, 11:25 PM IST
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In the last five years, Mumbai witnessed a 21.3% rise in the child mortality rate between the age group of zero to five years. According to the BMC data, 1,779 kids in the said age group died before Covid. However, the figure surged to 2,158 in 2023. The total number of deaths in the five years stands at 9,972, said data.

Meanwhile, nearly 5,301 deaths were also recorded in the age group 10 to 18 years between 2019 and 2023. However, the civic body didn’t disclose data of child death for the age group of six to nine years. The department did not release the death toll of children between the ages of five and 10 under Right to Information, otherwise the death toll was likely to rise,” said an official.

Factors Contributing To Rising Child Mortality Rates In Maharashtra

Health officials have attributed the worrying trend to several factors like preterm delivery, maternal deaths, malnutrition, birth defects and cross infections. A senior official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that malnutrition in mothers, malnourishment in fetuses and lack of diagnosis at the right time can cause health problems in newborns. “Due to late marriages, the rate of premature birth of children is increasing. Pregnancy after the age of 40 leads to complications like high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, thyroid, chromosomal disorders, leading to preterm delivery,” he said.

According to the paediatricians, children's immunity has weakened post pandemic due to which they are easily prone to diseases. “Children are also susceptible to blood disorders, including anaemia. The health system needs to take appropriate measures to prevent these deaths,” the official said.

Child Mortality Statistics In Maharashtra

As per the child mortality data corresponding to the last five years, 5,528 were boys, while 4,433 were girls between zero to five years. Statistics showed that the number of kids aged 10 to 18 years, who died due to communicable diseases in the same period, stood at 1,771.

While 2,136 children passed away due to non-communicable diseases followed by 1,021 accidental deaths. Notably, 76 deaths were recorded due to not taking into account the seriousness of the disease. Meanwhile, 19,781 preterm deaths were recorded between April 2020 to 2023.

Expert Highlights Rising Hospital-Acquired Infections And Child Mortality In Maharashtra

An expert explained, “The most common hospital-acquired infections are pneumonia and bacteremia (blood infection) resulting from a catheter inserted into a vein to give the newborn fluids or medications.” The lower the birth weight, the higher the risk of infection. Last year, the state women and child development department said in the legislative council that 37,292 children died in the last four years in 16 districts, including Nandurbar, Dule, Jalgaon, Nashik, Thane, Palghar, Chandrapur, Gadchiroli, Bhandara, Gondia, Nagpur, Amravati, Yavatmal, Raigad, Ahmednagar and Pune. The deaths occurred despite the government's high spending on nutritious meal schemes.

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