The National Rural Health Mission has failed to have any significant impact on Bihar though the Centre has pumped Rs 1,600 crore since its launch on April 12, 2005.
Most health indicators suggest that things have in fact remained the same or in some cases got worsened. However, the routine immunization coverage increased from 20 52 per cent in this period. The Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Child Mortality Rate (CMR) in the state remain 70 and 105 per thousand respectively. The national average is much less.
With the figure of 371 in the last ten years the Maternal Mortality Rate has got stagnated. The nutritional status of children in Bihar is still among the lowest in the country. Poor maternal nutrition and high incidence of infectious diseases are another problem of the state.
Cases of polio and kalazar are still rising notwithstanding the pulse polio drive. The fertility rate in the state is 4.3, which is highest in the country. It needs to be brought down to 2.1 to stabilize the population of the country. There is a huge shortage of doctors and other para-medical staff at the health centres, hospitals and government dispensaries.
Against the demand of 8,500 Bihar has only 5,343 doctors. The 24 hours comprehensive emergency obstetric service, a major component of the NRHM, is still not functioning in most of the health centres in the state.