This is significantly lower than the IMR of 31.2 recorded in the survey conducted in 2015-16. The UMR in 2020-21 was 30.6 per 1,000 live births, which is significantly lower than 42.2 in 2015-16. Dr Arun Gupta, president of the Delhi Medical Council, said the dip in IMR and UMR was a positive sign and it reflected the overall socio-economic development in the state. “There has been significant improvement in areas like institutional deliveries, first-hour breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and universal immunisation. All this has a direct impact on reducing mortality rate in children,” he said.
The neonatal mortality rate (NMR), or children dying within 28 days of their birth, has dipped only marginally from 17.8 per 1,000 live births in 2015-16 to 17.5 per 1,000 live births in 2020-21, the survey results show. Dr Gupta, who is also a senior paediatrician, said that this was a worrisome trend. “We need to improve the number of neonatal ICUs in the city significantly to reduce NMR,” he said.
Nationally, the NMR, IMR and UMR rates are 24.9, 35.2 and 41.9, respectively. Across India, the latest NFHS survey shows that 88.6% of births took place in medications institutions, such as hospitals and nursing homes. In Delhi, the latest survey report shows, the rate of institutional delivery is 91.8% of total births. Five years ago, in 2015-16, the institutional births in Delhi was calculated at t 84.4%.
According to the NFHS survey, deliveries through Caesarean section in the capital has gone down from 26.7% to 23.6% of all institutional births in the last five years. In private hospitals, the latest survey data shows, nearly 42% of deliveries were through Caesarean section, while in public hospitals, the percentage of Caesarean section deliveries was approximately 18%.
The sex ratio at birth has increased in the national capital from 812 girls per 1,000 boys in 2015-16 to 923 girls per 1,000 boys now, according to the NFHS survey.