After refusing to accept results of a UNICEF vaccination survey for months, the government has now formed an inter-ministerial committee to examine findings of the Rapid Survey on Children (RSOC) conducted during 2012-13.
The findings have been a bone of contention with government questioning the methods of the survey that shows, among other states, a dip in the immunisation coverage of children — aged between 12-23 months — in the then Narendra Modi-ruled Gujarat.
The committee will have officials of ministries of Health, Women And Child Development, Statistics And Programme Implementation and also Niti Aayog.
The UN agency had submitted its findings last year. The ministry, however, sat on the report for over six months, with officials questioning the methodology and even intentions behind the survey, while claiming that status of Gujarat, as shown in the survey, was not a matter of dispute.
“We held a meeting with ministries of Health and Statistics and decided to form a committee as there was difference of opinion on the state-level findings of the survey. It is likely to submit its report within a week,” said a senior official in the Women And Child Development Ministry.
He added that there is an overall improvement of more than 6 per cent in the findings of the UNICEF report as compared to a similar survey conducted by National Family Health Survey six years ago.
“There are three indicators of a child’s health or malnutrition — height to age, weight and age, and weight for height. Going by these indicators, there is an improvement of 6-12 per cent,” he said.
The Indian Express had reported on June 30 about the government’s refusal to accept the survey.