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Data Related to Women: NFSH-5

  • 16 Dec 2020
  • 7 min read

Why in News

Recently, the first-phase data of the National Family Health Survey-5 (NFHS-5) 2019-20 has been released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, which provided data on various issues related to women in india.

  • NFHS is a large-scale, multi-round survey conducted in a representative sample of households throughout India. The Phase-I provides data for 22 states/UTs and the fieldwork in the remaining 14 (Phase-II) States/UTs is under progress.
  • All NFHSs have been conducted under the stewardship of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, with the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) Mumbai, serving as the nodal agency.

Key Points

  • Total Fertility Rate (TFR):
    • The TFR across most Indian states declined in the past half-a-decade, more so among urban women. This implies that India’s population is stabilizing.
    • Sikkim recorded the lowest TFR, with one woman bearing 1.1 children on average; Bihar recorded the highest TFR of three children per woman.
    • In 19 of the 22 surveyed states, TFRs were found to be ‘below-replacement level (2.1)’.
      • TFR indicates the average number of children expected to be born to a woman during her reproductive span of 15-49 years.
      • The replacement level is the number of children needed to replace the parents, after accounting for fatalities, skewed sex ratio, infant mortality, etc. Population starts falling below this level.
  • Anaemia among Women:
    • More than half of the children and women are anaemic in 13 of the 22 States/UTs.
    • It has also been observed that anaemia among pregnant women has increased in half of the States/UTs compared to NFHS-4.
    • In all the states, anaemia is much higher among women compared to men.
  • Contraception:
    • Female sterilization continues to dominate as the modern method of contraception in states like Andhra Pradesh (98%), Telangana (93%), Kerala (88%), Karnataka (84%), Bihar (78%) and Maharashtra (77%).
    • Overall Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) has increased substantially in most States/UTs and it is the highest in HP and WB (74%).
  • Child Marriages:
    • There has been an increase in child marriages in Tripura (40.1% from 33.1% in 2015-16), Manipur (16.3% from 13.7% in 2015-16) and Assam (31.8% from 30.8 % in 2015-16),
    • States like West Bengal (41.6%) and Bihar (40.8%) still have high prevalence of child marriages.
    • States such as Tripura, Manipur, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Nagaland have also shown an increase in teenage pregnancies.
  • Domestic/Spousal Violence:
    • It has generally declined in most of the states and UTs.
    • However, it has witnessed an increase in five states, namely Sikkim, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Assam and Karnataka.
      • Karnataka witnessed the largest increase in spousal violence, from 20.6% in NFHS 4 to 44.4% in NFHS-5.
    • Sexual violence has increased in five states (Assam, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Meghalaya and West Bengal).
  • Institutional Births:
    • Have increased substantially with over four-fifth of the women delivering in institutions in 19 States and UTs.
    • Institutional delivery is over 90% in 14 out of the total 22 States and UTs.
  • Caesarean (C-section) Deliveries:
    • There has been an increase in the number of Caesarean section (C-section) deliveries in a majority of states.
    • The international healthcare community has considered the ideal rate for caesarean sections to be between 10% and 15%.
    • States such as Telangana, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, and some in the northeast, have shown a jump in C-section deliveries, especially at private healthcare facilities, in the last five years.
      • In some states like Telangana and West Bengal, the C-section deliveries, at private healthcare facilities rose up to 81% and 82%.
  • Sex Ratio at Birth:
    • SRB has remained unchanged or increased in most States/UTs.
    • Majority of the states are in normal sex ratio of 952 or above.
    • SRB is below 900 in Telangana, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, DNH & DD.
  • Child Nutrition:
    • Child nutrition indicators show a mixed pattern across states. While the situation improved in many States/UTs, there has been minor deterioration in others.
    • Drastic changes in respect of stunting and wasting are unlikely in a short period.
  • Financial Inclusion:
    • Considerable progress has been recorded between NFHS-4 and NFHS-5 in regard to women operating bank accounts.
  • Sanitation and Clean Air:
    • The percentage of households with improved sanitation facilities and clean fuel for cooking has increased in almost all the 22 States/UTs over the last four years (from 2015-16 to 2019-20).
    • The Government of India has made concerted efforts to provide toilet facilities to maximum households through Swachh Bharat Mission, and improved household environment through Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana in the country.

Way Forward

  • Current times require integrated and coordinated efforts from all health institutions, academia and other partners directly or indirectly associated with the health care services to make these services accessible, affordable and acceptable to all.
  • The data in NFHS-5 gives requisite input for strengthening existing programmes and evolving new strategies for policy intervention, therefore government and authorities should take steps to further improve the condition of women in India.

Source: IE

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