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Percentage of medically certified deaths up in State
PRANJAL BHUYAN
 GUWAHATI, July 23 - Even as the percentage of medically certified deaths among the total registered deaths in Assam have shown an upward trend in recent times, their overall proportion still remain at only around a quarter of the registered deaths.

As per the latest data from the Office of the Registrar General of India, there were 1,16,778 registered deaths in Assam during 2015, and of the total, 30,017 were medically certified deaths.

Thus, the percentage of medically certified deaths to the total registered deaths stood at 25.7 per cent in 2015, the latest year for which the figures are available.

This is an increase from 2014 when the quantum of medically certified deaths had stood at 21.9 per cent. There were 1,14,877 registered deaths in the State in 2014, of which 25,123 were medically certified deaths.

However, in 2013 there were only 1,009 or a mere 0.9 per cent medically certified deaths in Assam as against a total of 1,06,810 registered deaths.

During 2015, Goa ranked first with 100 per cent registered deaths as medically certified, followed by 86.9 per cent in Lakshadweep, 84.2 per cent in Daman & Diu, 74.4 per cent in Puducherry and 64.0 per cent in Tripura.

Amongst the bigger States, the highest level of medical certification of cause of death was observed in Tamil Nadu (40.5 per cent), Karnataka (37.2 per cent) and Maharashtra (34.5 per cent).

Assam’s rank among all the states and Union Territories (UTs) was 18th during 2015.

According to the findings of the ‘Report on Medical Certification of Cause of Death 2015’ from the Office of the Registrar General of India, infectious and parasitic diseases accounted for 7,895 (or 26.3 per cent) of the medically certified deaths in Assam in 2015.

Among other causes, 5,895 (or 19.6 per cent) were due to neoplasms, 652 (2.2 per cent) due to diseases of blood and blood forming organs and certain disorders involving immune mechanism, 2,211 (7.4 per cent) due to ‘endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases’, 1,233 (4.1 per cent) due to mental and behavioural disorders, 1,794 (6 per cent) due to diseases of the nervous system, and 2,066 (or 6.9 per cent) due to diseases of the circulatory system.

Diseases of the respiratory system accounted for 2,130 (7.1 per cent), diseases of digestive system for 2,576 (8.6 per cent), diseases of genitourinary system for 501 (1.7 per cent), pregnancy and childbirth for 818 (2.7 per cent), conditions originating in the perinatal period for 474 (1.6 per cent), and ‘injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external cause’ for 1,772 (or 5.8 per cent) of the medically certified deaths in Assam in 2015.

The medical certification of cause of death under Civil Registration System has been implemented in the states and UTs in a phased manner to provide data on cause of death.

“However, it has so far been implemented in only certain hospitals, generally in urban areas which are selected by the Chief Registrar of Births and Deaths. Thus, the scheme covers mostly those deaths, which occur in medical institutions located in urban areas. The coverage under the scheme in terms of percentage level of medical certification as well as the type of hospitals covered has not been uniform across the states and UTs,” it said.

It is evident from the fact that while overall medically certified deaths across Assam accounted for 25.7 per cent of the total registered deaths during 2015, in the urban areas of the State the proportion was as high as 82.2 per cent.

The report stated that some of the states have notified only teaching and specialised hospitals under it, whereas in others, only district hospitals and Primary Health Centres (PHCs) have been brought under its ambit.

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