VK Paul, Health News, ET HealthWorld
Releasing the NFHS-5 survey along with Ministry of Health and Family Welfare officials, Dr. Vinod Kumar Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog espoused the view that the data from the survey would help the Government achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and stated, “NFHS-5 shows momentum towards achieving SDG is getting further accelerated.”
Informing that the expansion of household questionnaires has made the data equitable and beneficial for all line ministries, State Governments and other stakeholders, Rajesh Bhushan, Health, Secretary, MoHFW, said, “Data from NFHS will be beneficial to all line ministries, State Govts and other stakeholders.”
Suggesting solutions to improve the indicators further, he highlighted that the transformative interventions of Ayushman Bharat -Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana and Pradhan Mantri-Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan will significantly improve the findings from this health survey.
He enunciated that inter-ministerial co-ordination between the ministries of Women and Child Development, Food, Rural Development and Panchayat affairs can help in tackling nutrition deficiency and anaemia in the population as has been shown in the survey.
The States and UTs that were surveyed for Phase-2 were Arunachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, NCT of Delhi, Odisha, Puducherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Findings from the Phase-1 survey which covered 22 States & UTs were released earlier in December, 2020.
The successive rounds of NFHS helps the government with reliable and comparable data on health, family welfare and other emerging health issues. The survey findings were curated after collecting information from 6.1 lakh sample households in 707 districts (as on March, 2017) of the country; covering 724,115 women and 101,839 men to provide disaggregated estimates up to district level.
The fact sheet focuses on 131 key indicators that can help in tracking the progress of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the country. The indicators in NFHS-4 (2015-16) and NFHS-5 were kept similar to draw comparisons and mark the progress achieved. Some new focal areas added to the NFHS-5 were death registration, pre-school education, expanded domains of child immunization, components of micro-nutrients to children, menstrual hygiene, frequency of alcohol and tobacco use, additional components of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), expanded age ranges for measuring hypertension and diabetes among all aged 15 years and above, which will give requisite input for strengthening existing programmes and evolving new strategies for policy intervention.
The key results from India and Phase-II States/UTs NFHS-5 Factsheets areas below:
• The Total Fertility Rates (TFR), which is the average number of children per woman, has further declined from 2.2 to 2.0 at the national level and in the States/UT’s surveyed. The TFR ranged from 1.4 in Chandigarh to 2.4 in Uttar Pradesh. All Phase-II States have achieved replacement level of fertility (2.1) except Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.
• Overall Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) has increased substantially from 54% to 67% at all-India level and in almost all Phase-II States/UTs with an exception of Punjab. Use of modern methods of contraceptives has also increased in almost all States/UTs.
• Unmet needs of family Planning have witnessed a significant decline from 13 percent to 9 per cent at all-India level and in most of the Phase-II States/UTs. The unmet need for spacing which remained a major issue in India in the past has come down to less than 10 per cent in all the States except Jharkhand (12%), Arunachal Pradesh (13%) and Uttar Pradesh(13%).
• Full immunization drive among children aged 12-23 months has recorded substantial improvement from 62 per cent to 76 percent at all-India level.11out of 14 States/UTs has more than three-fourth of children aged 12-23 months fully immunized, highest at 90% for the state of Odisha.
On comparing NFHS-4 and NFHS-5 data, the increase in full immunization coverage is observed to be expeditious in many states and UTs; More than 50 per cent of Phase-II States/ UTs are sharing over 10 percentage points during the short span of 4 years. This can be attributed to the flagship initiative of Mission Indradhanush launched by the government in 2015.
• There is an increase from 51 per cent to 58 percent of women receiving the recommended four or more ANC visits by health providers at all-India level. All the Phase-II States/UTs have shown improvement except Punjab between 2015-16 to 2019-20.
• Institutional births have increased substantially from 79 per cent to 89 percent at all-India Level. Institutional delivery is 100 per cent in Puducherry and Tamil Nadu and more than 90 per cent in 7 States/UTs out of 12 Phase II States/UTs.
• Along with an increase in institutional births, there has also been a substantial increase in C-section deliveries in many States/UTs especially in private health facilities.
• Child nutrition indicators show a slight improvement at all-India level as Stunting has declined from 38 per cent to 36 per cent, wasting from 21 per cent to 19 per cent and underweight from 36 per cent to 32 percent at all India level. In all phase-II States/UTs the situation has improved in respect of child nutrition but the change is not significant as drastic changes in respect of these indicators are unlikely in a short span period.
• Anaemia among children and women continues to be a cause of concern. More than half of the children and women (including pregnant women) are anemic in all the phase-II States/UTs and all-India level compared to NFHS4, in spite of substantial increase in the composition of iron folic acid (IFA) tablets by pregnant women for 180 days or more.
• Exclusive breastfeeding to children under age six months has shown an improvement in all-India level from 55 percent in 2015-16 to 64 percent in 2019-21. All the phase-II States/UTs are also showing considerable progress.