The National Family Health Survey 2019-20

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The National Family Health Survey 2019-20 (NFHS-5) released by Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on December 12, 2020. The current data be related to 17 states, including Maharashtra and five Union Territories, including J&K.

The current data from the first phase shows that several states have either observed meagre improvement or sustained reversals on child malnutrition parameters such as child stunting, child wasting, share of children underweight and child mortality rate. Global Hunger Index also use these parameters for global indices.

Child wasting is defined as low weight for height. It usually occurs when a person has not had food of adequate quality and quantity. India has a high level of child wasting.

Child Stunting is the impaired growth and development that children experience from poor nutrition, repeated infection, and inadequate psychosocial stimulation. Children are defined as stunted if their height for age is more than two standard deviations below the WHO Child Growth Standards median.

The child mortality rate is defined as the number of deaths of children under five years of age in a given per one thousand children in this age group.

The infant mortality rate is the number of deaths per 1000 lives births for children under the age of one and under-five mortality rate. A researcher affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania said that between NHFS-3 and 4, there was progress on mortality reduction.

In Maharashtra state, the mortality rate is the same in NHFS-4 and 5 and Bihar; it reduced by 3% over five years.

About National Family Health Survey (NFHS)

The NFHS has surveyed conducted in a representative sample of the household throughout India. The United States Agency for International Development funded the NFHS with additional support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

In 1992-93, the first National Family Health Survey was conducted. The survey provides information on population, health, and nutrition, with emphasis on women and young children for India and each state/union territory. NFHS-5 includes new topics, such as preschool education, disability, access to a toilet facility, death registration, bathing practices during menstruation, and methods and reasons for abortion.

Source: Indian Express, NFHS

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