Indicating a demographic shift, the number of females overtook males for the first time in India with a sex ratio of 1,020:1,000, according, to the findings of the National Family and Health Survey-5.
With this, we can say that India is moving ahead in the league of developed countries. The sex ratio has crossed 1000, said a health ministry official, adding that measures are taken for women empowerment like financial inclusion and gender bias and attributed to combating inequalities.
The sex ratio at birth also increased from 919 in 2015-16 to 929 in 2019-20, reflecting the positive impact of measures like, the implementation of PC, PNDT Act and various other interventions.
The sex ratio as per NFHS-3 conducted in 2005-06 was 1000:1000, and in 2015-16 (NHFS-4), it came down to 991:1000.
On November 24, the Union Ministry of Health has released a list of population, reproductive and child health, family welfare, nutrition and other health-related sectors for India and 14 Phase-II states and union territories.
The findings of NFHS-5 in respect of, 22 states and union territories covered in the first phase, were released in December 2020.
According to NFHS-5, 88.6 per cent of births in the country are given, in a health facility. (In the five years preceding the survey) Officials said a significant increase since NFHS-IV (78.9 per cent) is proof that India is on course to achieve universal institutional birth.
Eliminating preventable maternal and neonatal deaths requires support by appropriately trained healthcare workers working in an enabling environment. An important strategy to ensure efficient care during childbirth is that all birth takes place in health facilities where obstetric complications can be, treated when they arise,” the official said.
About four-fifths (78%) of mothers in the country received postpartum care from health workers (doctor/nurse/LHV/ANM/midwife/other health workers) within two days of delivery, a significant increase from 62.4 per cent in NFHS-4 is growth.
It will reduce maternal and child mortality in the country the days and weeks after delivery. The postpartum period is a crucial stage in the lives of mothers and newborns. Most maternal and infant deaths occur in the first month after birth. However it is recommended to obtain postpartum care from health workers within the first 48 hours (2 days) of delivery.
The survey findings stated, that the total fertility rate (children per woman) in the country has reached the replacement level of fertility, an important demographic milestone. The TFR for India has reached, 2.0 children per woman in 2019-21 as compared to 2.2 in 2015-16.
It means that women are giving birth less often than before in their reproductive period. It also indicates better knowledge and utilization of family planning services. A late entry in marriage/union, etc., the ministry official said.
Birth registration (with civic authority) for children below five years of age has increased from 79.7 per cent (NFHS-4, 2015-16) to 89.1 per cent.
In 41 per cent of households, at least one general member is covered under a health insurance/financing scheme, up from 28.7 per cent in the previous round. It indicates wider reach and greater acceptance of health insurance/financing schemes in India.
Health insurance provides coverage for medical expenses and prevents out-of-pocket expenses and catastrophic health expenses, especially for marginalized families. It is to be noted, that the Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), was not implemented during the period of the survey in the country, and its coverage may not have been included, in the factsheet, the officer explained.
In addition, currently, two-thirds (66.7%) of married women aged 15-49 in the country use family planning to delay or limit pregnancy as per NFHS-5, compared to only 53.5 per cent in NFHS-4 using any method.
It is a significant increase from the previous round. Contraceptive use prevents pregnancy-related health risks for women, especially adolescent girls, and appropriately planned intervals between births prevent infant mortality.
The currently unmet need for family planning among married women in the age group of 15-49 years in the country has come down from 12.9 per cent in 2015-16 to 9.4 per cent in 2019-21.
According to the findings, more than three-quarters (76.4 per cent) of children aged 12-23 months are fully vaccinated (BCG, measles-containing vaccine (MCV)/MR/MMR/measles, and 3 cases of each polio). Dosage (excluding polio vaccine given at birth and DPT or pentavalent vaccine) based on, the vaccination card or information from the mother’s recall.
According to the survey, the nutritional status of children below five years of age has been a marginal improvement in the, country. However, specific targeted interventions are needed to address these challenges in the country.