IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

Rise in teenage pregnancy, higher anaemia rate in women: NFHS-5 phase data

16th December, 2020 Society

Context: The 5th National Family Health Survey (NFHS 5) data for 17 States and 5 Union Territories released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has indicated a stark disparity in access to the Internet by men, in contrast to women in a number of States.

  • In Karnataka and Bihar, for example, twice as many men have access to the Internet as compared to women. Sikkim is the only State where access among men (78.2%) and women (76.7%) is almost equal.
  • While the detailed report with data for all the States is awaited, the data from the first phase of the NFHS-5 indicated a decline in nutritional status of children under 5 years, continued female sterilisation being dominant as the modern method of contraceptives, anaemia being much higher among women compared to men and increase in teenage pregnancies.
  • The first set of findings from the NFHS 5, conducted in 2019-20, was released recently four years after the last one (2015-16), and is one of the most comprehensive, data at scale on health and family welfare and emerging issues in this area.
  • Analysing the current data, the Population Foundation of India (PFI), a non-government organisation working in the area of health and community wellbeing, said States like Manipur, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Nagaland had also shown an increase in teenage pregnancies.
  • Along with an increase in child marriage, Tripura has also shown an increase in teenage pregnancy from 18.8% in 2015-16 to 21.9%.
  • Also while spousal violence has generally declined in most of the States and UTs, it has witnessed an increase in five States, namely Sikkim, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Assam and Karnataka.
  • Karnataka witnessed the largest increase, from 20.6% in the NFHS 4 to 44.4% in the NFHS 5. Sexual violence has increased in five States (Assam, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Meghalaya and West Bengal).

Female sterilisation

  • It added that female sterilisation continued to dominate as the modern method of contraceptives in States like Andhra Pradesh (98%), Telangana (93%), Kerala (88%), Karnataka (84%), Bihar (78%) and Maharashtra (77%).
  • Male engagement in family planning continues to be limited and disappointing as seen by the low uptake of condoms and male sterilisation across the States.
  • Despite the efforts being made, it is alarming to see the increase in child marriages in a number of States.
  • There has been an increase in Tripura (40.1% from 33.1% in 2015-16), Manipur (16.3% from 13.7% in 2015-16) and Assam (31.8% from 30.8% in 2015-16), while States like West Bengal (41.6%) and Bihar (40.8%) still have high prevalence of child marriages.
  • It has also been a matter of concern is the increase in average out of pocket expenditure (OOPE) per delivery in public health facilities in some States.
  • Compared to NFHS-4, OOPE had increased in several States - Sikkim (109%), Mizoram (63%), Bihar (60%), Assam (42%) and Manipur (40%).