Sharp decline in maternal, child mortality rate

The overall health status of Indians has improved substantially with a sharp decline in key indica ors like maternal and child mortality , fertility rate and malnutrition over the past decade, according to the fourth national family health survey (NFHS-4) 2015-16, which called upon the government o focus more on equity .

As per the findings of the survey , the immunisation coverage has also increased significantly across the country .

Results for the first phase of the fourth survey , covering 13 states and two union erritories, showed these states recorded an infant mortality rate (IMR) of less han 51 deaths per 1,000 live births, with Andaman recording the lowest of 10 deaths and Madhya Pradesh recording 51.

The current national MR is 37. Most states fared dramatically well as compared to the results of the previous survey (2005-06). However, despite the re markable improvement, some states like Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Meghalaya continue to project a grim picture, though the status in these states has shown marginal improvement as compared to the previous survey .

For instance, though nutrition rates among children have improved in almost all the 13 states and two union territories, stunting continues to be a major concern in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Meghalaya where over 40% children are status

Anaemia also continues to be a major concern impacting the health of both women and children. In Meghalaya, the number of anaemic women in productive age has increased from from 46.2% during NFHS-3 to 56.2% in NFHS-4. In Haryana, the percentage of anaemic women has gone up from 56.1% to 62.7%, whereas in Goa, it has gone up from 38.2% to 48.3%.Madhya Pradesh has witnesses a marginal decline from 74% to 68.9%.

Data showed institutional deliveries witnessed a marked improvement 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. In Bihar, institutional deliveries rose from 19.9% in 2005-06 to 63.8 % in 2014-15.

Similarly , institutional deliveries rose from 35.7% to 80.5% in Haryana and 26.2% to 80.8% in Madhya Pradesh.

Though immunisation coverage varied widely among states, at least six out of 10 children received full immunization in 12 of the 15 states and union territories.

Source: Times of India 21st Jan’2016