NFHS-5 Records ‘Unprecedented’ Improvement In Key Child Health Indicators, Sex Ratio

SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir has improved its tally of neonatal and infant mortality rate and the sex issue.  The National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) carried out by the International Institute of Population Sciences, Mumbai has revealed.

This 1903 photograph preserved in the US Library of Congress shows the poor Kashmiri children playing the Saz Lounge, the Kashmiri version of hopscotch.

In comparison to the NFHS-4 report of 2015-16, the NFHS-5 suggests that key health indicators have shown phenomenal improvement in three years.

Jammu and Kashmir has recorded 22 points decrease in Neonatal Mortality Rate (NNMR) from 23.1 to 9.8, 16 points decrease in Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) from 32.4 to 16.3 and 19 points decrease in Under Five Mortality Rate (U5MR) from 37.6 to 18.5. An official spokesman termed the improvement “unprecedented”.

The report also indicated a positive change towards the girl child in Jammu and Kashmir and recorded an improvement in Sex Ratio at birth from 923 to 976 females per1000 males.

An average number of children per women which is measured by Total Fertility Rate (TFR) has also shown a significant improvement since the last report which decreased from 2.0 to 1.4.

Antenatal check-ups of mothers in the first trimester and institutional births, which are important indicators for decreasing the Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR)and utilization of health facilities have also shown significant improvement in last 2-3 years. The Antenatal Check-ups (ANC) in the first trimester of mothers has increased from 76.7% to 86.6% and the Institutional births have increased from 85.5% to 92.4%.

Accordingly, the percentage of fully immunized children (12-23 months) against the vaccine-preventable diseases which has bearing on under-five mortality by preventing the common childhood disease has also increased from 84.4% to 96.7% since last 2-3 years.

Authorities managing the health sector in Jammu and Kashmir have expressed their satisfaction and happiness on the achievements in key health indicators, the spokesman said. They attributed the progress to various interventions in the past.

Key health facility-based interventions that have helped include up-gradation of Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) and Sick Newborn Care Units (SNCUs), Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA), Skilled Birth Attendance (SBA)/Dakshata, Universalization of essential newborn care and resuscitation, early and exclusive breastfeeding etc. “Special New-born Care Units (SNCU) have been established in 27 District / other equivalent Hospitals, 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) in GMCs, New Born Stabilization Units (NBSUs) in 65 Community Health Centres and New Born Corners (NBCCs) in 264 delivery points with financial and technical support from National Health Mission,” the spokesman said.

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