`Literacy vital to reduce infant mortality'

DAVANGERE, SEPT. 25. The infant mortality rate (IMR) in the country is 65 despite various sophisticated health measures. Similarly, there are 35 neonatal deaths out of every 1,000 births.

Noted paediatricians disclosed this here on Saturday during the 18th South Zone Conference of the Indian Academy of Paediatrics.

The doctors said that the main reasons for infant mortality and neonatal death were birth asphyxia, breathing problems, and malnourishment of mothers during pregnancy.

They said that literacy played a vital role in reducing IMR and neonatal deaths. They said that the IMR and neonatal deaths were low in Kerala, where female literacy was about 95 per cent.

Nirmala Kesaree, director of Bapuji Child Health Institute; M.L. Kulkarni, organising chairman and recipient of Dr. B.C. Roy Award; C.R. Banapurmath, professor of paediatrics and national convenor of the Breastfeeding and Lactation Management Committee; G. Guruprasad, neonatologist and professor of paediatrics; and P.S. Suresh Babu, professor and president-elect of the national chapter of Paediatric Pulmonology, were among those who participated in the conference.

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