9 out of 11 states have not been able to reduce the Infant mortality rate even by 2 points annually. As per the analysis of critical child health indicators of NFHS 4 done by CRY, the only two states that have been able to sustain a pace of annual reduction in IMR by two points are West Bengal and Tripura. Currently in India 40 out of 1000 infants don;t get celebrate their first birthday.
The much-awaited survey on India health indicators was released by the Health Ministry recently, after almost a decade. While the report provides an improvement in the overall health of children over, the rate of progression on annual basis is alarming.
The status of nutrition for children under five shows marginal improvement. While both the proportion of underweight and stunted (low height for age) children has seen a decline, the proportion of wasted (low weight for height) children has increased in 6 of the 11 states. (West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Karnataka, Goa and Sikkim)
Mission Indradhanush, the national initiative of the India aims to achieve cent percent full immunization, which seems to be a distant dream in light of the status of immunization revealed by NFHS. In 8 out of 11 states (Tamil Nadu, Haryana, UT, Tripura, Karnataka, Goa, MP, Sikkim) of the country one out of 3 children do not receive full immunization. Further analysis shows that these states have failed to increase their immunization coverage even by 2 percent per year. In order to achieve the mission Indradhanush goal, the Government should focus on minimizing the dropout between different antigens. Haryana, Meghalya and Tripura have reported drop out, as high as 15% children between life saving vaccinations BCG and measles. Similarly, drop outs between multiple doses of DPT and polio is 17 per cent in Andhra Pradesh. It requires serious introspection to evaluate implementation, reach and effectiveness of the routine immunization programmes.
Komal Ganotra (North), CRY ndash; Child Rights and You, says, The NFHS is not just a reflection of the state of health and nutritional well being of children but it also provides the direction for corrective measures in state policies and programmes. She further added, There is an urgent need for vigorous and sustained efforts on improving child health especially now, when India will be required to meet the new global targets of 2030.
Efforts need to be put to fill in the gaps in vaccination, better reach out to remote and far reaching areas, better monitoring and provision of health services and regular training to improve the capacities of all players providing health services.
CRYndash; Child Rights and You (formerly known as Child Relief and You) is anIndian NGO that believes in every child right to a childhood ndash; to live, to learn, grow and play. For over 30 years,CRYand its partners have worked with parents and communities to ensure Lasting Change in the lives of more than 20 Lakh underprivileged children.
For more information please visit us atwww.cry.org.