By: Dhaval Kulkarni
The news article has been republished from DNA, December 10, 2016. (Image courtesy: DNA)
In the present 2016-17 fiscal year, a total of 1,454 deaths of children and 153 cases of maternal mortality have been recorded till October 2016.
Underlining the grim social disparities in Maharashtra, the government has admitted that the tribal areas in the state have seen the deaths of almost 8,000 children and over 450 mothers in around two years.
In a written reply to a question by Sandeep Naik (NCP-Airoli) and others in the winter session of the state legislative assembly on Friday, health minister Dr Deepak Sawant said that the 16 tribal districts in the state had seen the deaths of 6,589 children below the age of six years and 306 mothers in the 2015- 16 financial year. In the present 2016-17 fiscal year, a total of 1,454 deaths of children and 153 cases of maternal mortality have been recorded till October 2016.
Sawant however claimed that the health department was working effectively to combat child and maternal mortality. In his reply, the health minister said that while 283 deaths of children had been recorded at Melghat in Amravati in 2015-16, these were not due to malnutrition but because of pneumonia, low birth weight, early births, asphyxia and infections. Shahapur and Dolkhamb in Thane district also recorded 29 and four deaths of children respectively between January and June 2016.
Meanwhile, in another written to a question by Amit Vilasrao Deshmukh (Congress – Latur city) and others, women and child development minister Pankaja Munde claimed that a decline in malnutrition had been observed this year compared to the previous year. However, there has been a marginal rise in the figures for Palghar, Nandurbar, Jalgaon, Raigad, Gadchiroli, Nagpur, Amravati, Nanded and Mumbai city in September 2016 when compared to last year. This was because of diseases like diarrhea, cholera and pneumonia during the rainy season.
A total of 147 children between the age of zero and six died between April and August 2016 at Mokhada, Jawhar, Vikramgad and Wada in Palghar district but Munde claimed that this was because of various ailments and diseases and not because of malnutrition.
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