Child Development in India
Key Indicators for assessing Child Development
Under Five Mortality Rate
- The Under Five Mortality Rate is the probability of a child born in a specific year dying before reaching the age of five. It is expressed as rate per 1000 live births.
- Majority of the under five deaths are neonatal deaths which are mainly due to complications and infections happened during birth.
- In addition to this, the U5MR is sensitive to a wide variety of drivers such as the nutritional status of mothers, level of immunization, availability of child and maternal care services, economic conditions in the family, etc.
- Under Five Mortality Ratio (U5MR) was estimated at 125 deaths per 1000 live births in 1990.
- The U5MR is currently at 49 deaths per 1000 live births and as per the historical trend, it is likely to reach 48 deaths per 1000 live births.
Infant Mortality Rate
- IMR is the probability of a child born in a specific year dying before reaching his/her first birthday. It is expressed as per 1000 live births.
- The factors influencing infant mortality are likely to influence the health status of the whole population such as health of mothers and extent of pre/post-natal care, general living conditions, rates of illness, their economic development and the quality of the environment.
- Thus IMR is a very sensitive indicator of health not only for children but also for the population as a whole.
- In India, IMR was estimated at 80 per 1,000 live births in 1990.
- As per Sample Registration Survey 2013, the IMR is at 40 and as per the historical trend; it is likely to reach 39 by 2015, against the target of 28 infant deaths per 1000 live births by 2017.
Proportion of One Year Children immunised against Measles
- The proportion of 1-year-old children immunized against measles is the percentage of children under one year of age who have received at least one dose of measles vaccine.
- The indicator provides a measure of the coverage and quality of the child health-care system in the country with the assumption that its level of coverage is likely to represent coverage by other antigens like BCG, DPT, and polio as well, as these are given before the antigen of measles could be given.
- Besides, among these vaccine-preventable diseases of childhood, measles is the leading cause of child mortality.
- The proportion of one-year old children immunised against measles at 74% in 2009.
- Although, there is substantial improvement in the coverage which was 42% in 1992-93, yet at this rate of improvement, India is likely to achieve about 89% coverage by 2017.
Doctoral Scholar in Economics & Senior Research Fellow, CDS, Jawaharlal Nehru University