Telangana is set to achieve total neonatal mortality rate reduction in line with United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for 2030, but mortality of male neonates will likely be a burden on the State’s child health capabilities 12 years later, suggests an analysis of nation-wide data.
As per findings of the study, eight of the 10 erstwhile districts of the State will continue to have neonatal mortality rates over 12 per 1,000 births, the target envisioned under the SDG.
The State’s NMR, according to National Family Health Survey–4, stands at 22. Authors of the study published in PLOS One, suggest that Telangana, like many other States, will reduce its NMR to achieve SDG goals but will not see a commensurate decrease in NMR of male neonates.
The authors, Jayanta Kumar Bora of Indian Institute of Dalit Studies and Nandita Saikia of JNU, in their study ‘Neonatal and under-five mortality rate in Indian districts with reference to Sustainable Development Goal 3’, attributed lower female NMR to increased odds of survival of the female neonate.
However, the authors also pointed out that it is not just the economically backward states that have high-risk districts; even relatively rich states like Telangana have such districts.
The survey aimed to study rate reductions of neonatal and under-5 mortality observed during National Family Health Survey 3 (2005-06) and NFHS-4 (2015-16) to provide estimates for 2030, when the SDG are to be achieved.
The research found that at the national level, about 30 districts across the country have attained the NMR set by SDG. Only 159 districts are likely to achieve the desired rate in reducing male neonatal mortality by 2030, while 257 districts are likely to be successful in lowering female NMR.
The analysis also found that Telangana will belong to a cluster of States comprising Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and covering most of central and north India. However, Telangana’s neighbour, Karnataka, would have achieved significant reduction.
In Telangana, areas of erstwhile Nalgonda district alone can boast of meeting SDG.
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