Kolkata: In spite of the availability of modern childcare facilities and several governmental campaigns being run to save the lives of the newborns, all the efforts to reduce the escalating infant death rate in West Bengal have proved a failure.

More than 100 infants have died in the last six months. In the report prepared by the special task force constituted by the government to look into the high rate of child deaths, it has been found that the infant mortality rate has been on a rise in rural areas, the reason being the delay in treatment of children suffering from critical and communicable diseases.

According to the report, there are 37 infant deaths on every 1000 births, of which 20 die in slums in rural and urban areas. However, the government claims of lesser infant deaths in the state.

The report says, the infant mortality rate has fallen from 68 infant deaths per 1000 child births to 57 infant deaths per 1000 child births in the last two years. But the number is yet an alarming digit.

It is to be noted, only 41 percent of child deliveries take place in hospital while 59 percent women undergo uninstituional deliveries at home leading to high infant mortality rate. The children born at home are highly prone to communicable diseases and expire due to delayed treatment.

An oganisation ‘Save the child’ has launched a campaign to control the high number of infant deaths in the state.

For the record, more children below five years of age die each year due to lack of proper care, hygiene and nutritional diet whereas lakhs of infants die within 28 days every year due to various reasons.

Comparatively, the infant mortality rate is much lower in western nations due to advance childcare facilities. The lack of awareness leads to more children death in India in spite of advance facilities.

Women are less concerned about their health in rural areas with less cooperation from the family members during pregnancy period. This accounts to carelessness during deliveries leading to death of infants.

JPN/Bureau