About National Family Health Survey
- NFHS is the most comprehensive health survey in the country which helps in analyzing trends and making policies.
- First carried out in 1992-93, NFHS (2015-16) is the fourth in this series.
- Commissioned by the Health Ministry, it is carried out by the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), Mumbai.
- NFHS-4 will survey 5,70,000 households and for the first time provide results at district level.
The gaping data deficit
16 Jan 2014
- NFHS-3 was conducted in 2005-06 and for almost a decade the data was not updated to arrive at the actual health situation on the ground level.
- NFHS-4, supposed to be carried out in 2010, was delayed because health ministry officials believed that it should be carried out with the Census-2011.
- However, the plan was shelved after protests and data collection started only in 2014.
Health conditions of Indians improved: NFHS survery
20 Jan 2016
- Phase-I data of the much awaited 'National Family Health Survey-4' (NFHS-4, 2015-16) was finally released by Union Health Ministry.
- The overall health condition of people has improved significantly in nutrition, immunization, fertility rates, maternal care, etc.
- However, a long road lies ahead, as more than 50% women in many states suffer from anaemia, while children suffer from stunting due to lack of proper nutrition.
Coverage in Phase-I
NFHS-4 is being conducted in 2 phases. In Phase-I, 13 States and 2 Union Territories were covered whereas the data collection for Phase-II is underway.
Important highlights of the survey
- In all the 15 states and union territories, infant mortality rate (number of deaths under 1 year of age/1000 live births) have declined with Andaman and Nicobar reporting 10 and Madhya Pradesh recording 51.
- Immunization has improved to more than 80% in West Bengal, Sikkim, etc.
- Relatively fewer children under 5 years were found stunted, signifying improvement in nutrition.
- Anaemia, however, is still widespread.
Maternal health improves in India
- Decline in maternal deaths is clearly visible with improved care during pregnancy and child birth.
- Number of mothers following the recommended 4 visits to health centers before pregnancy have also increased significantly.
- Institutional delivery has shot up to more than 90% in AP, Goa, Karnataka, Telangana, etc.
- However, more than 50% of the women in 11 out of 15 states and UTs remain anaemic.
Fertility rates decline
- Fertility rates (average number of children a woman potentially bears) have registered a decline with all states except Bihar, MP and Meghalaya achieving replacement level (fertility rate of 2.1).
- However, decline in fertility rates despite lessened use of family planning methods is misleading.
- In Karnataka, fertility rates fell from 2.1 to 1.8, while use of family planning methods also reduced from 64% to 52%.
Women getting empowered
- Percentage of women managing their own finances has bettered with an unprecedented improvement (16% to 78%) in Tamil Nadu.
- Surprisingly, Bihar topped in women owning land/houses with 59% women owning property. Data also shows that 90% women participate in household decision making in West Bengal.
- However, only 28% women own a mobile phone vis-a-vis 43% men.
- Women's percentage with awareness about HIV/AIDS has declined.