Infant mortality rate (IMR), neonatal mortality rate, under-five mortality rate and anaemia among women have deteriorated in Tripura, according to the first-phase data of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 2019-20 — released by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on December 12.
The latest data pertains to 17 states and five Union Territories (including J&K) and captures the state of health in these states before the Covid pandemic. Phase 2 of the survey was delayed due to the pandemic and its results are expected to be made available in May 2021.
While Tripura’s neo-natal mortality was 13.2 per 1,000 live births in 2015-16, it has risen to 22.9 in the latest survey. Similarly, Infant Mortality Rate has risen from 26.7 to 37.6 while Under-Five Mortality Rate has risen from 32.7 to 43.3. These three rates are nearly double in rural areas compared to urban areas. Infant Mortality Rate is the number of deaths per 1000 live births for children under the age of 1.
The report further states that 64.3 per cent children aged between 6-59 months were found to be anaemic — the percentage in 2015-16 was 48.3. Besides, 61.5 per cent of pregnant women between 15-49 years of age were found to be anaemic as against 54.4 per cent four years back. For non-pregnant women, 67.4 per cent were found to be anaemic as against 54.5 per cent in 2015-16.
Prevalence of anaemia among young adults was found to even more, with 67.9 per cent of women between 15-19 years of age found to be suffering from the condition. Among men, 36.9 per cent between 15-49 years were found to be anaemic while it came down to 27.2 per cent for those in the 15-19 age group.
The proportion of under-weight and stunted children have also increased since 2015-16. According to the report, 25.6 per cent of children below 5 years were found to be overweight as against 24.1 per cent four years back. Besides, 32.3 per cent of these children were found to be stunted, which reflects chronic undernutrition, and refers to the percentage of children who have low height for their age. The figure was 24.3 per cent in 2015-16.
The study also recorded a growth in overweight children below 5 years of age from 3 per cent four years back to 8.2 per cent now.
In case of hypertension, 20.9 per cent of women and 22.7 per cent men of 15 years or above were found to have elevated blood pressure or were found taking medicine to control blood pressure. Similarly, 17.7 per cent of women and 19.3 per cent men of this age group were found to have high or very high blood sugar levels.
The report has also shown a rise in average expenditure per delivery in public health facility from Rs 4,784 four years back to Rs 6,640 now. However, it also mentions that 93 per cent women received Mother and Child Protection (MCP) card as against 83 per cent in 2015-16. Institutional post-natal care for children within two days of delivery was also found to be 72.8 per cent.
The survey found that 22.7 per cent caesarian births took place in public health facilities, rising from 18.1 per cent, while it has come down from 73.7 per cent to 69.3 per cent in private healthcare centres. Among other variables included in the study, gender-based violence, womens’ empowerment have grown. Health Secretary JK Sinha could not be reached for comments on the issue.
The survey was conducted among 7,314 women and 990 men across 7,209 households of Tripura between July 04-November 10, 2019, by the Indian Institute of Health Management Research (IIHMR).