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Jan 25, 2005

Children's Day

Children's Day today. I don't know the logic of celebrating it specifically today. If someone knows do post. Even if Nehru's Birthday, what did Nehru do for children?

Just for information : There are more than 375 million children in India, the largest number for any country in the world.The government admits that the task of providing health care to 375 million children is an enormous challenge; especially since one-third of them live in conditions of abject poverty and neglect. Nevertheless, several achievements have been made:

  • Age-specific mortality rates have declined. The decline in the age group 0-4 years and 5-14 years is substantial.
  • Infant mortality rates have decreased from 134 in 1946-50 to 72 in 1997.
  • Under-five mortality rates declined from 177 in 1980 to 100 in 1993.
  • Every girl-child born today can expect to live up to the age of 58 years, as against 41 years in 1951-60.
  • Every boy-child can live to 58 years, as against 42 years in 1951-60.
  • More deliveries take place in health facilities (33 per cent in 1992-93, compared to 25 per cent five years ago).
  • More children receive the essential vaccines protecting them from tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, measles and polio (42 per cent, up from 36 per cent). The Universal Immunisation Programme aims at immunising all 25 million children born in the country each year against the six vaccine-preventable diseases.

And yet

  • Of every 1,000 children born in a year, 48 die within 28 days of birth. The incidence is much higher in the rural areas: 52 child deaths at birth.
  • There are not enough beds to accommodate the 25 million annual births.
  • One in 13 infants dies before reaching the age of one year.
  • One in nine children die before reaching the age of five. This figure corresponds to official figures for 1961.
  • Approximately 70 per cent of infant deaths occur in the first week of life.
  • Acute Lower Respiratory Infection (ALRI) continues to claim15-20 per cent of infant deaths, especially in the first three or four months of life.
  • 380,000 deaths occur each year due to Vitamin A, iron and iodine deficiencies. And 210,000 children are born cretins, or turn blind at pre-school age.
  • Every year 7 to 8 lakh (700,000-800,000) children die from a preventable disease, like diarrhoea.
  • In a country that has buffer stocks of food grains, nearly 75 million children below the age of 5 years are malnourished.
  • 45 per cent of children below three are severely and chronically malnourished.
  • Only 44 per cent of children have completed the immunisation schedule. A massive 14 per cent have not received a single vaccine.

posted on Sunday, November 14, 2004 4:50 PM in O3

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