ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Analysis of West Bengal Data

Infant Mortality Variations in Space and Time

Efforts to reduce infant mortality rates (IMR) in India appear to have reached a plateau in recent years, while the national population policy has set an ambitious goal of bringing these down to 30 by the year 2010. To achieve this, it is necessary to disaggregate the mortality data to identify groups or regions with high IMR levels and to intensify efforts to reduce mortality among these sections. Only then can a rapid reduction be made in the aggregate mortality levels. However, given wide variations in mortality levels among different states, such analyses should be state-specific. This paper analyses the infant and child mortality data for West Bengal in space through the district-level estimates and in time through the state-level estimates, comparing these with all-India figures. While the performance of the state has been well above the all-India average, mortality levels are high in certain regions and among certain groups. It is necessary to intensify efforts to reduce these through specific micro-planning. Similar state-specific analyses are necessary for other states and will serve useful purpose for design of policy.

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