New Delhi, March 1: India within a period of three years seen many a positive change in each and every sector such as the economy, infrastructural development, education, the standard of living etc. However, in recent years the health sector of the country has seen the prominent growth and therefore sex ratio at birth is improved and infant mortality rate is declined heavily.
The latest Health survey shows that India's health index has made a notable improvement over the last decade. There has been a decline in the infant mortality and improvement in the sex ratio with more institutional deliveries and wider vaccine coverage. Health Ministry unveiled the National Family Health Survey-4 (NFHS-4) in New Delhi, conducted for the year 2015-16.
Referring to the survey, Health secretary CK Mishra said, sex ratio at birth improved from 914 to 919 females per 1000 males at the national level over the last decade with the highest in Kerala at 1,047, followed by Meghalaya at 1,009. Haryana also witnessed a significant increase from 762 to 836.
Infant Mortality Rate, IMR, declined from 57 to 41 per 1,000 live births between NFHS-3 which was conducted in 2005-06 and NFHS-4. IMR declined substantially in almost all the states during the last decade. It dropped by more than 20 percentage points in Tripura, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Odisha.
Similarly, institutional births "dramatically" increased by 40 percentage points from 38.7 per cent in NFHS-3 to 78.9 per cent in NFHS-4. Mishra said, targeted approach through Janani Suraksha Yojana, JSY, has paid off. Total Fertility Rate also declined to 2.2 children per woman from 2.7 in NFHS-3 with a considerable decline in the TFR in each of the 30 states with the maximum decline observed in Uttar Pradesh at 1.1 children followed by Nagaland at 1.0 child.
The survey also says Children within the age of 12-23 months have been fully immunized. Health Secretary Mishra said malnutrition has been coming down, thanks to supplementary nutrition and efforts at the health facilities, adding that mortality due to malnutrition is also coming down. He added there was a need to increase the number of PG seats in the medical field.
The survey found that the full immunization coverage increased in Punjab, Bihar and Meghalaya by 29 percentage point each, while in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh it increased by 28 percentage points each.