By The Editor
Life is the most precious gift of God and it is therefore highly important to nourish and nurture it and preserve at all cost. Infants are delicate and tender who may easily succumb to diseases which, if uncared for and neglected, will prove fatal. According to demography infants are defined as children belonging to exact age group zero or those in the first year of life who have not yet reached age one. Study and analysis on infant mortality rate is very important because infant deaths account for substantial number of all deaths reflecting health conditions of respective states of countries. Generally, mortality during first year of life is invariably high for all countries irrespective of whether they are highly or less developed and whether the overall levels of mortality are high or low. Health conditions of children depend much on mother’s health and so pregnant women and expecting mothers have to take good care of their health during this period failing which they may become weak and ultimately die. As in case of infant mortality, maternal mortality, that is death of mothers during the first year of giving birth and after exactly completing it irrespective of causes is also relatively high for all countries including states. Infant mortality rate (IMR) and maternal mortality rate (MMR) are two primary indicators on status of state or country world wide.
Population Commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council has included in population policy measures and programmes designed to contribute to the achievement of economic, social, demographic, political and other collective goals. India too like all other countries of the world has adopted population policy with special emphasis on mortality and fertility as crucial factors. Mothers and children are inter-related and Napoleon Bonaparte said, “The future of the child is always the work of the mother”. Main cause that affects pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers is malnutrition which can lead to weak immunity and complications for both mother and child. According to report of the survey conducted by UNICEF (United Nations International Children Emergency Fund) released on March 8, a day before International Women’s Day the countries that are worst affected by food crisis are 10 in Africa and two in Middle East. Throughout the world it was found 51 million children below 2 years of age are too short in height for their age called stunting due to malnutrition and half of these become stunted during pregnancy or within their first six months of life.
Dr.(Ms.) Mazel Ampareen Lyngdoh, sole female minister in MDA (Meghalaya Democratic Alliance) 2.0 with a doctorate degree and in-charge of Health & Family Welfare, etc. said that her focus is on the issue of high infant and high maternal mortality rates in the state and expressed confidence that she will be able to render justice. She added that it is great opportunity for her as she will be required to cater to requirement of healthcare particularly women in rural areas which is quite a challenging task.