Over 50% women, kids anaemic in 14 states, UTs: Survey

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New Delhi: Anaemia among children and women continues to be a cause for concern, with more than half of them being found anaemic in 14 states and UTs and all-India level, according to the findings of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) compared to NFHS-4.

The government on Wednesday released the factsheets of key indicators on population, reproductive and child health, family welfare, nutrition and others for India and 14 states and UTs, clubbed under phase two, of the 2019-21 NFHS-5 here.

The states and UTs which were surveyed in this phase were Arunachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, NCT of Delhi, Odisha, Puducherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, UP and Uttarakhand.

The findings of NFHS-5 for 22 states and UTs covered in phase one were released in December 2020.

Hitting a major demographic milestone, India has fallen below the replacement level of fertility at the national level with the total fertility rate of the country now standing at 2.

The replacement level of fertility — 2.1 — is the number of children per woman that helps to keep the national population stable.

The TFR ranges from 1.4 in Chandigarh to 2.4 in Uttar Pradesh. A major takeaway of the survey is – all states have achieved replacement level of fertility (2.1) except MP, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and UP, where too the fertility rates have declined over the past six years.

“The trends were expected as contraception improves and unmet need for family planning declines. The results show that there is no need for any rigid family planning policies or two child norms,” said researcher V Sekar of the International Institute of Population Sciences, which conducted the survey.

CONCERNS

Malnourished kids
35.5% under-5 children stunted (low height for age)
19.3% children wasted (low weight for height)
32.1% underweight kids

ANAEMIA
67.1% children anaemic (6 to 59 months); count stood at 58.6% in NFHS-4
57.2% women anaemic (15-49 years); risen from 53.2% in the last survey
25% men anaemic (15-49 years); up from 22.7%

GAINS
88.6% institution births; up from 78.9% in last survey
76% kids fully immunised (12-23 months); 62% last time
64% kids under 6 months breastfed; up from 55%
Total fertility rate of the country drops to 2

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