Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday (December 12) said maternal mortalities have decreased by over 33 per cent and child deaths reduced by nearly 15 per cent since the launch of a crackdown on child marriage in the state this year. He reaffirmed the state government’s goal of eradicating the social ill of child marriage by 2026, with more than 5,000 people already arrested.
The Assam CM said on X,
Child marriage is a social evil which also manifests undesirable health outcomes such as high infant and maternal mortality rates.
Our crackdown has yielded encouraging results in women & child health sphere.
By 2026 Assam will end this abhorrent practice. pic.twitter.com/FmgSnW1paD
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) December 12, 2023
CM Sarma said Assam has a higher infant mortality rate (IMR) and maternal mortality rate (MMR) than the national average, and it is “more prevalent in certain districts as compared to others”.
The primary reason for the high IMR and MMR is child marriage, he said.
The under-5 mortality figures in 2020 was 40 per cent in the state against the national average of 32 per cent, the chief minister said.
Listing some of the measures taken by the state government to curb the menace, CM Sarma said more than 5,000 people have been arrested in a massive crackdown in multiple phases against child marriage.
The Assam government has also designated gram panchayat secretaries as Child Marriage Prevention (Prohibition) Officers, he said.
As a result, there has been a 33.4-per cent decline in the number of maternal deaths from 766 in 2021-22 to 510 in 2022-23. There has also been a 14.7-per cent fall in the number of child deaths from 7,872 in 2021-22 to 6,718 in 2022-23, he said.
The crackdown against child marriage and teenage pregnancy will continue till the government achieves its goal of eradicating these by 2026, the CM added.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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