Manipur has the lowest infant mortality rate in the country. According to the health ministry report, Manipur’s infant mortality rate is nine deaths per 1000 live births. The national infant mortality rate (IMR) is currently 43 deaths per 1000 live births.

Manipur has been achieving low IMR for the last three years.

We have been bagging awards for having the lowest infant mortality rate for three consecutive years from the central health ministry,” Manipur family welfare director K Rajo Singh said. “The society in general and pregnant women and their families in particular are very health conscious. Pregnant women never miss the antenatal health checkup in all trimesters,” he said.

Neighbouring Assam has an IMR of 62 deaths per 1000 live births. According to family welfare director Rajo Singh, the low IMR is because of dedicated doctors, high health consciousness and an increase in women’s empowerment.

He said that there are 4009 ASHA workers who spread awareness in local communities. They are trained regularly and give women tests before pregnancy. They facilitate proper child care and institutional deliveries.

Centrally-sponsored schemes like the Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSK) and Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakaram (JSSK) and standing laws like the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Technique (PC & PNDT) Act and Rules also share the credit in bringing the IMR down, Rajo said.

The state, which is mostly in the news for reports of armed conflicts, also saw massive decrease in cases of TB, malaria and leprosy. 

Uttar Pradesh has the highest infant mortality rate in India. As many as 64 infants (under one year) and 78 children under five years die annually out of 1000 babies born alive, as per NFHS report of 2015-16. Haryana, Bihar and Punjab also have very high infant mortality rates. Finland and Japan have the lowest IMR in the world. The US’s IMR is 6.1 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, so Manipur’s IMR is less than the US.

Also Read: Jayanta Kalita Uncovers the Story of an HIV Positive Bodybuilder