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Kerala best state on health parameters, Uttar Pradesh worst: Niti Aayog

The report by the government think tank said Tamil Nadu and Telangana have emerged as the second and third best performers, respectively, on health parameters.

Written by Esha Roy | New Delhi |
Updated: December 28, 2021 6:25:34 am
CM should've married off daughter to dalit person if he was truly progressive: Cong’s Kerala chiefChief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan. (Express photo by Tashi Tobgyal/File)

Kerala remained the best-performing state in the health indicators for a fourth consecutive time, according to an index released on Monday, which also ranked Uttar Pradesh at the bottom of the rankings although the state also saw the most progress.

“The Healthy States, Progressive India” report — compiled by the Niti Aayog, Union Health Ministry and the World Bank for a fourth edition between 2019-2020 — surveyed 19 large states, eight small states and seven Union Territories. It did not include West Bengal and Ladakh due to unavailability of adequate data.

Among large states, Kerala and Tamil Nadu topped the list, and Telangana emerged strong on the third position in health outcomes and incremental performance. The state saw an improvement from the 4th position the last time — indicating that it has made strides in improving its health infrastructure by ensuring universal immunisation of children, setting up fully functional First Referral Units (FRUs) and all Primary Health Centres (PHCs) among others.

Maharashtra retained its fifth spot, and Andhra Pradesh fourth, down from 3rd in the last index.

UP was ranked the lowest at 19, but it has seen major improvements in 33 health indicators in recent years.

“Uttar Pradesh with the lowest Overall Reference Year (2019-20) Index Score ranked at the bottom (Rank 19) in Overall Performance, however, it ranked at the top in terms of Incremental Performance by registering the highest incremental change from the Base Year (2018-19) to Reference Year (2019-20),” the report said.

“UP’s overall health score has gone up from 25.06 to 30.57, an improvement of 20% points in a year. It has improved its performance on 33 of the 43 indicators with the most significant being on the full immunisation coverage, first trimester ANC (antenatal care) registration and pregnant women receiving four or more ANCs,” said a Niti Aayog official.

Like UP, Assam too was placed at the bottom of the list but it has also seen improvements in health indices. It moved up from 15th to the 12th position in the latest report, with progress in criteria such as mortality rate and maternal mortality rate.

Rajasthan, the report said, is ranked third from bottom, with low scores in overall performance and incremental performance.

Among small states, Mizoram emerged as the best performer and Nagaland the worst.

Delhi and Jammu & Kashmir were ranked the lowest among Union Territories in overall performance, but topped the list in incremental performance. Both have improved by one spot from the last edition of the survey.

The report also pointed out that among the large states, the gap between the best and the worst performers declined this year as compared to the 2018-19 index.

Kerala got a score of 82.2 and UP, 30.57 — a difference of 51.63 points, which was improvement from a difference of 56.54 points from the previous index.

The survey ranked states on indicators such as neonatal mortality rate, under-five mortality rate, sex ratio at birth, maternal mortality ratio, modern contraception prevalence rate, full immunisation coverage, antenatal care, identification and cure of TB, etc.

Kerala was the best performer in several categories, including neonatal mortality rate and under-five mortality rate.

The report said there were also some examples of states where poverty and health indictors may not be directly correlated.

“Many states with the same level of poverty performed better in Health Index indicating that factors beyond income determine health sector performance. For example, Telangana performed significantly better in Health Index than Haryana or Jammu & Kashmir despite having same level of poverty (according to Net State Domestic Product data). On the other hand, states such as Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Bihar with almost the same level of performance on the Health Index had vastly different poverty levels,” it said

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