Guwahati: Assam is at the bottom of the list with regard to maternal mortality rate(MMR) with a figure of 300 against the national average of 167, while the fund spending under National Health Mission (NHM) is just 13.58 percent for 2017-18.
Addressing a press conference here, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Ashwini Kumar Choubey said the government is working to reduce the MMR in Assam.
The declining rate of MMR in the state, however, is the highest in the country and is “very encouraging”, he said.
The Centre is aggressively carrying out vaccination and other medication to reduce the MMR across many districts of Assam, including Nagaon, Dhubri, Goalpara, Karbi Anglong, Kokrajhar and Chirang under Mission Indradhanush, he added.
The minister said that the infant mortality rate(IMR), which is the number of deaths per 1,000 live births of children under one year of age, in Assam is also on the higher side at 44 at present against the national figure of 37.
He said the Centre had allocated Rs 1,056.25 crore for Assam under National Health Mission (NHM) for 2017-18.
“Out of that, we have released Rs 514.81 crore. The state’s share is Rs 35 crore. As per our information, the state has spent Rs 143.42 crore till now,” he said adding 81 different schemes are going on under NHM across the state.
Speaking about the number of doctors, he said Assam bears a sorry figure with just one practitioner against 3,000 people.
“The WHO standard is to have one doctor against every 1,000 people. The country’s average is one doctor against 1,592 people. The scene is very bad in North East,” he added.
In Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh, there is just one doctor against around 4,000 people, Choubey said.
The country will require around 17 lakh doctors by 2022 and the government is now focussing on setting up new medical colleges. Last year 52 medical colleges were sanctioned and this year 24 others were accorded it, he added.