New Delhi: The ‘Dev Bhumi’ (Abode of Gods), Himachal Pradesh which has almost 90 per cent (89.97%) of its population residing in rural areas is home to 68.65 lakh people, according to the Census 2011. Himachal Pradesh is one of the top three states in India’s child well-being index, a tool designed to measure and track children’s well-being comprehensively. The report released earlier this year by the non-government organisation World Vision India and research institute IFMR (Institute for Financial Management and Research) LEAD, provides insights on health, nutrition, sanitation, among others. NITI Aayog’s Health Index report of 2019 too ranked Himachal among the top ten performers for improving its health index scores.
Here’s a look at Swasth Report of Himachal Pradesh and its performance on health indicators:
- Infant Mortality Rate (IMR): According to the National Family Health Survey 3 conducted in 2005-06, infant mortality rate (IMR) that is the number of deaths per 1,000 live births of children under one year of age in Himachal Pradesh stood at 36. Over a period of 10 years, the IMR dropped down by only 5.55 per cent and came down to 34, reveals NFHS 4 (2015-16).
The decline in IMR in the state is less than the 28 percent drop seen at an all India level during the same period. But the state’s IMR is better than the country’s IMR at 41 in 2015-16.
- Under-Five Mortality Rate (U5MR): The state didn’t witness much improvement in the under-five mortality rate (U5MR) – the probability of death between birth and five years of age, per 1000 live births. While in 2005-06, the U5MR was recorded at 42; in 2015-16 it stood at 38, with a gentle decline of 9.52 per cent. On the other hand, during the same period, a drop of 32.43 per cent was seen at an all India level. Though the country had a sharp decline, but if absolute figures are to be considered, Himachal’s U5MR is at 38 which is better than the country’s U5MR at 50.
- Malnutrition: Poor nutrition leads to varied forms of malnutrition including stunting (low height for age), wasting (low weight for height), and underweight which can be both acute and chronic. But over the years, the state of Himachal Pradesh has managed to reduce the instances of malnutrition among children under 5 years.Also Read: Swasth Guide: A-Z About Malnutrition And What It Entails
The cases of child stunting have fallen from 38.6 per cent (2005-06) to 26.3 per cent (2015-16). The drop of 12.3 per cent is commendable when compared to an all India decline of 9.6 per cent.While child wasting declined in the state by 5.6 per cent (from 19.3 per cent in 2005-06 to 13.7 per cent in 2015-16), the nation observed a surge of 1.2 per cent in child wasting, during the same decade.The percentage of underweight children in the state too had a significant decline of 15.3 per cent (from 36.5 per cent in 2005-06 to 21.2 per cent in 2015-16). The fall was more than double of the drop of 6.7 per cent at all India level.
- Anaemia Among Children And Women: While anameia among children (6-59 months) has shown marginal improvement with a decline of mere 0.7 per cent (from 54.4 in 2005-06 to 53.7 in 2015-16), percentage of anaemic women (15-49 years) jumped up by 10.5 per cent. At an all India level, anaemia among children decreased by 10.8 per cent and 2.2 per cent in women.
- Diarrhoea: In 2018, cases of acute diarrhoeal diseases in Himachal Pradesh decreased when compared to 2017. According to National Health Profile (NHP) 2019, while in 2017 Himachal Pradesh’s contribution to the total cases of acute diarrhoeal diseases in India (1,34,16,748) was 2.34 per cent (3,14,463), in 2018, it contributed by 2.27 per cent (3,00,183) to total cases of over 1.3 crore cases (1,31,94,775). The number of deaths due to diarrhoea too dropped from 26 in 2017 to 14 in 2018. The decline of 46.15 per cent is commendable as in the country, the number of deaths due to diarrhoea increased by 6.46 per cent.
Note: National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) fieldwork for Himachal Pradesh was conducted from February 2016 to August 2016 and gathered information from over 9 thousand (9,225) households, 9,929 women, and 2,185 men.
Also Read: The Crisis Of Diarrhoea In India