The fifth edition of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) released by the Union Health Ministry on Saturday has recorded significant improvement in maternal and child health in West Bengal.
Institutional deliveries increased from 75.2% as per the NFHS-4 conducted in 2015-16 to 91.7% in the NFHS-5 held in 2019-20. The infant mortality rate (IMR) also improved to 22 (per 1000 live births) from 27.5 in NHFS-4. The IMR for urban areas in West Bengal for NFHS-5 was 21 and for rural areas it was 22.4. Neo-natal mortality rate and under-five mortality also showed improvement in NFHS-5 compared to NFHS-4.
The sex ratio at birth for children born in the last five years (females per 1,000 males) increased to 973 from 960 recorded in NFHS-4. For urban areas, the sex ratio was 921 and for rural areas it was 993.
The percentage of women of the age group 20-24 married before the age of 18 was 41.6% — same as in the last NFHS report. The percentage of women in the age group 20-24 married before the age of 18 was 26.2% in urban areas and 48.1% in rural areas.
Anaemia among children and women remains a matter of concern. The percentage of anaemic children (aged between six and 59 months) increased from 54.2 in NFHS-4 to 69 in NFHS-5. The percentage of pregnant women with anaemia increased from 53.6 in NFHS-4 to 62.3 in NFHS-5. Women aged between 15 and 49 with anaemia increased from 62.5 in NFHS-4 to 71.4 in NFHS-5.
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