ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Long Way to Go

NFHS-4 data shows improvements in health status, yet serious concerns remain.

Data on India’s health status ought to inform policy. Unfortunately, this does not always follow. After a gap of 10 years, data from the fourth round of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) was released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Like the previous surveys of 2005–06, 1998–99 and 1992–93, NFHS-4 provides information on demographic, health and nutritional data for adults and children at the all-India and state level. This time, the NFHS has expanded its sample to provide data that can be disaggregated up to the district level. This is useful to study the large intra-state variations.

The data fact sheets released allow preliminary comparisons with NFHS-3. For instance, the percentage of stunted children under five years of age has reduced from 48% in 2005–06 to 38% in 2015–16, indicating a reduction in malnutrition. Yet, undernutrition remains prevalent compared to global statistics. On the positive side, the percentage of children who are fully immunised has increased from 44% to 62%. Also, the total fertility rate (TFR) is now at replacement level with TFR coming down from 2.7 to 2.2.

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Updated On : 28th Aug, 2017
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