The Union Health Ministry Tuesday released the results for the first phase of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) 2015-16 that showed dramatic improvements in maternal and infant mortality, immunisation coverage, nutrition and such criteria in 13 states that were covered in this phase. The earlier survey was conducted in 2005-06.
The survey was conducted in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Goa, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand, West Bengal and Union Territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Puducherry.
The results show that all these places have an infant mortality rate (IMR) of less than 51 deaths per 1,000 live births, with Andaman recording the lowest of 10 deaths and Madhya Pradesh recording 51. The current national IMR is 37.
The survey also showed a reduction in maternal mortality rates, credited to a slew of measures aimed at improving the care given to pregnant women and the extra attention paid to the nutrition requirements of adolescent girls.
It also showed that institutional deliveries were up, with more than nine in ten recent births taking place in health care facilities in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Puducherry, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana.
According to the survey, the fertility rates too reduced significantly ranging from 1.2 in Sikkim to 3.4 in Bihar. All first phase states/UTs except Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Meghalaya had either achieved or maintained replacement level of fertility.
The first National Family Health Survey was carried out in 1992-93. NFHS-4 is the first of the NFHS series that has collected data in each of India’s 29 states and all seven UTs.
Also, NFHS-4, for the first time, will provide estimates of most indicators at the district level for all 640 districts of the country included in the 2011 Census. In the survey, women aged 15-49 years and men aged 15-54 years are interviewed.
Full immunisation coverage among children in the 12-23 month age group though varied widely among these states. While six out of 10 children received full immunisation in 12 states/UTs, in Goa, West Bengal, Sikkim, and Puducherry, more than four-fifth of the children have been fully immunised.
While Meghalaya, Haryana, and West Bengal registered an increase in the use of modern family planning methods, states such as Goa, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu showed a decline.
The survey also showed better nutrition levels among children, though in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Meghalaya more than 40 per cent children were stunted.