Context:

A comparison of National Family Health Survey-5 (NFHS-5) and NFHS-4 shows that Births in institutional facilities, such as a hospital, improved by nearly 8%.

Relevance:

GS-II: Social Justice and Governance (Issues related to Health, Government Policies and Interventions)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Highlights of the comparison between NFHS-5 and NFHS-4
  2. NFHS-4 vs NFHS-5 on Childcare and Nutrition

Highlights of the comparison between NFHS-5 and NFHS-4

  • India has officially hit a total fertility rate (TFR) of 2.0 that indicates a decrease from the 2.2 in the NFHS-4. These findings bust the population-explosion myth and show that India must steer away from coercive measures of population control. (This is a significant feat for the country’s family-planning programme, which does not include coercive policies.)
  • According to the United Nations Population Division, a TFR of about 2.1 children per woman is called replacement-level fertility. If replacement level fertility is sustained over a sufficiently long period, each generation will exactly replace itself. The urban TFR is 1.6 and the rural TFR is 2.1.
  • An overall survey of the major differences between the NFHS-5 and NFHS-4 suggests that the use of contraceptives has improved from 53.5% to 66.7% in the latest NFHS-5 and institutional births increased from 78.9% to 88.6%.

NFHS-4 vs NFHS-5 on Childcare and Nutrition

  • Births in institutional facilities, such as a hospital, improved by nearly 8 percentage points.
  • Children who were either stunted or displayed signs of wasting only dropped by a maximum of 3 percentage points.
  • The proportion of children (12-23 months) who were fully vaccinated improved from 62%-76% and children under 6 months who were exclusively breastfed also showed a sharp improvement from 54.9 to 63.7%.
  • There were, however, mixed signals in nutrition. Though the gains in childhood nutrition were minimal, women and men (15-49) who had a below normal body mass index (BMI) each dropped roughly four percentage points.
  • Those overweight (or had a higher BMI than ideal) increased by around 4 percentage points. Abnormal BMIs are linked to an increase in obesity and other non-communicable diseases (NCD).

Battle with Anemia

  • India’s battle with anaemia also appears to have faltered. The proportion of anaemic children (5-59 months) increased from 58% to 67%.
  • Women aged 15-49 who were anaemic increased from 53% to 57% and men of the same age increased from 29% to 31% between both editions of the NFHS.

-Source: The Hindu

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