BHOPAL (Madhya Pradesh): National Family Health Survey - 5 (2020-21) has brought good news for Madhya Pradesh, especially for its women and children. All the indicators related to the wellbeing of women and children show a marked improvement.
The NFHS-5 report (phase II), released on Wednesday, covers 14 states and union territories. The remaining states were covered in the phase-I report, released a few months back.
"We are very happy. Our efforts have borne fruit. This report will boost the morale of our field staff tremendously," said state woman and child welfare director RR Bhonsle.
When compared with the results of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-4, conducted five years back, the sex ratio, sex ratio at birth, infant and child mortality rate and female literacy, all have bettered. The state, however, still lags behind the national average in terms of many of these indicators.
The sex ratio at birth in the state has improved from 927 to 956 in 2016-2021. The figure is better than the national average figure of 929.†Sex ratio of total population has also increased from 948 to 970 but it is still lower than the national average of 1020.
In this respect, the state is worse off than other major Hindi-speaking states like Bihar, where the sex ratio is 1090, Uttar Pradesh (1017) and Chhattisgarh (1015).
Female literacy in the state now is 65.4 against the all-India average of 71.5. As female literacy was not measured in the earlier edition of NFHS, there is no way to know whether it has improved or declined over the past five years.† In terms of female literacy, the state has done better than Bihar (55) but lags behind UP (66.1), Haryana (79.7) and CG (72.5).
According to the latest survey, the Neonatal Mortality Rate has fallen from 36.9 to 29, Infant Mortality Rate from 51.2 to 41.3 and Child Mortality Rate from 64.6 to 49.2. The corresponding all-India figures are 24.9, 35.2 and 41.9 respectively.
The nutritional status of children has also registered a substantial improvement with the percentage of severely wasted children under 5 years of age falling from 9.2 to 6.5 and that of stunted dropping from 42.0 to 35.7. In respect of severely wasted children, the situation in the state is even better than the national average (7.7)
ActionAid's Director, Policy Campaigns and Communication, MP, Sarika Sinha said the report is a ìpleasant surprise but the change is not visible on ground.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)