//Kerala again leads in health indicators

Kerala again leads in health indicators

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala continues to lead nation in  key health indicators like birth rate, infant mortality and life expectancy, says the state’s latest Economic Review of 2005. According to the review released Wednesday evening, Kerala’s birth rate is 16.70 per 1,000 population as against the national rate of 24.80. Likewise, death rate is 6.30 as against 8.00 for the whole of the country and infant mortality is 11, far lower than the country average of 60.Similarly, life expectancy for Kerala men is 71.67 years and for women 75 years, higher than for the whole of India’s 64.10 for men and 65.80 for women.

Kerala also has reason to cheer with suicides declining by 4.08 percent over the 2003 figure of 9,438.But while the health scenario is favourable on the social front, the state is confronted with other problems it needs to solve, says the report. Nine percent of the state’s 32 million population is above 60. The number of women-headed households in Kerala has been increasing rapidly compared to other states. Against 10.30 percent households of India headed by women, the figure for Kerala is more than double at 22.10 percent. The review cites divorce, death and migration as the reasons for the higher figure in the state.