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Kerala s Health Status Some Issues

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Kerala's Health Status: Some Issues S Irudaya Rajan K S James TAKE away the advances Kerala made in the demographic arena the state may become an addition to the list of HIMARU1 states in India. This is because, Kerala has made enviable progress and is being projected as a striking example for its quick demographic transition without adequate economic backing. Predominantly, in the areas of life expectancy and infant mortality, its achievements are commendable. Kerala has attained a life expectancy of 68 years for males and 73 for females in recent times as against India's figure of 56 for males and 56.5 for females [Mari Dhat and Irudaya Rajan 1990], It has an infant mortality rate of less than one-fourth of India, which stands at 17 per 1,000 live births as of 1991. Various surveys conducted in recent times indicate the faster decline in neonatal mortality (one- month mortality) compared to post-neonatal mortality [Irudaya Rajan and Navaneetham 1993a; National Family Health Survey2 1993]. Moreover, Kerala's fertility transition has always been attributed to its very high literacy rate, especially among women and improved mortality sta- tus [Mari Bhat and Irudaya Rajan 1990].

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