Nearly 19,800 children died in western India in last fiscal year

NEW DELHI, July 22 — Nearly 19,800 children have died in the western Indian state of Maharashtra in the last financial year, its health minister has reportedly said.
“Some 19,799 children died in Maharashtra between April 2017 and March 2018 due to various reasons, including poor weight and respiratory illnesses,” State Health Minister Deepak Sawant was quoted by the local media as saying in a written reply to the Legislative Council last week.
The minister, however, told legislators that the state government “is providing nutritious food, health check-ups, pre-school education and vaccinations to children” to curb such deaths in the state in the future, reports said Sunday.
A report by the United Nations Children’s Fund, released early this year, ranked India 12th among the 52 low-middle income countries having highest infant mortality rates.