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143

CGHR Releases Million Death Study Revealing Startling Facts About Child Mortality in India

New Delhi, Sept. 20, 2017 -- India has avoided about 1 million (10 lakh) deaths of children under age five since 2005, driven by significant reductions in mortality from pneumonia, diarrhoea, neonatal infections and birth asphyxia, according to new research published today.

This research is part of the Million Death Study, one of the largest studies of premature deaths in the world. The Research was released today by CGHR during a press conference today held at Taj by Vivanta in New Delhi.

“India now has a blueprint to save even more lives of children in all parts of the country” commented Prabhat Jha, head of the Centre for Global Health Research India Foundation and Professor at St. Michael’s Hospital, University of Toronto.

A steeper decline in the number of girls dying narrowed a previously observed girl-boy mortality gap, said Dr. Jha, a professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.

An almost equal number of boys and girls under age five died in 2015. Dr. Jha is the lead investigator of the survey, based in India, where most deaths occur at home and without medical attention.

Hundreds of specially trained census staff in India knocked on doors of more than 1.3 million homes to interview household members about deaths. Two physicians independently examined these “verbal autopsies” to establish the most probable cause of death.

“You get the truth when you knock on doors and talk to parents,” said Dr. Jha. “We knocked on the doors of 100,000 homes where children died. If the health system failed these families, they will tell you all about it. These are far more reliable numbers than models or projections from small studies.”

The study found a 3.3 per cent annual decline in mortality rates of neonates (infants less than one month old) and 5.4 per cent for those ages one month to 59 months. The declines accelerated starting in 2005 and were fastest between 2010 and 2015, and in urban areas and richer states. Per 1,000 live births, the mortality rates among neonates fell from 45 in 2000 to 27 in 2015. The one-month mortality rate fell from 45.2 to 19.6.

Looking at specific causes of death, mortality rates from neonatal tetanus and measles fell by at least 90 per cent, neonatal infection and birth trauma fell more than 66 per cent. For children ages one to 59 months, mortality rates from pneumonia and diarrhea fell more than 60 per cent.
  
 
 

Contact Information

  • Name: Prabha Sati

    Company: Centre for Global Health Research

    Telphone: , +91 -959991645

    Address:

    Email: satip@smh.ca