New Delhi: ‘The Land of the Gods,’ Uttarakhand is known for scenic views of Himalayan range and is the country’s 20th most populous state with a population of more than one crore as per Census 2011. The state, over the last two years has showed a downward trend in its health care rankings. In the report, ‘Healthy States Progressive India’ published by the central government think tank, Niti Ayog, the state relegated to 17th rank out of 21 states, from 15th rank in the previous year’s report. The hill state has performed badly in most domains that include sex ratio, infant mortality rate (IMR) and neonatal mortality rate (NMR), among others.
“From the period 2015 to 2016, NMR declined in all larger states except for Uttarakhand where NMR increased from 28 to 32 neonatal deaths per 1000 live births,” read the report.
Here are some statistics of the state in various health parameters:
- Infant Mortality Rate: As per the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 4 conducted in 2015-16, the infant mortality rate (deaths before the age of one year) of Uttarakhand saw a small drop to 40 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2015-16, down from 42 recorded in the 2005-06 survey. That is a meagre drop of 4.7 per cent that the state witnessed. In comparison to the 28 percent drop in infant mortality rate witnessed at an all India level during the same period.
- Under-Five Mortality Rate (U5MR): When it comes to the under-five mortality rate (children dying under the age of five), as per NFHS 4, the state showed a drop of 17.5 per cent, by recording 47 deaths – per 1000 live births, as compared to 57 in NFHS 3 (2005-06). At the national level the drop was 32.4 percent from 74 per 1000 lives in 2005-06 to 50 per 1000 lives 2015-16.
- Malnutrition: According to NFHS 4, Uttarakhand has seen a 10.9 per cent drop in the cases of stunting of children (low height for age) under 5 years. The state had 33.5 per cent stunting cases in 2015-16 down from 44.4 per cent in 2005-06. This is more than the national average for stunting which stood at 38.4 per cent in 2015-2016 as per the NFHS 4.
The hill state has also witnessed a decline of 11.4 per cent in the cases of children under 5 years who are underweight – from 38 per cent in 2005-06, according to NFHS 3 to 26.6 per cent in 2015-16, according to the NFHS 4. The national average for underweight was recorded as 35.8 per cent in NFHS 4, 2015-16 down from 42.5 per cent in NFHS 3, 2005-06. When it comes to the wasting (low weight for height), Uttarakhand showed a minor increase of 0.7 per cent with 19.5 per cent wasting cases in NFHS 4, up from 18.8 per cent in NFHS 3. At an all-India level too, the cases of wasting went up marginally from 19.8 in NFHS 3 TO stands 21 in NFHS 4.
- Anaemia Among Children And Women: Uttarakhand saw a 0.9 per cent decline in Anaemia cases for children from 60.7 percent in NFHS 3 to 59.8 per cent in NFHS 4. When it comes to the women aged 15-49, the state recorded a decline of 9.5 per cent in anaemia, from 54.7 per cent to 45.2 per cent in the same period, respectively. Uttarakhand’s performance is far worse than the national average where anaemia stands at 10.8 per cent (children) and 2.2 per cent (women), as per NFHS 4 survey.
- Diarrhoea Cases And Death: Diarrhoeal disease deaths in Uttarakhand in 2016 stood at seven whereas in 2017, six deaths were reported, according to National Health Profile 2018 report. Moreover, out of the 1.3 crore (1,29,27,212) total cases of Diarrhoea in India Uttarakhand contributed less than one percent (0.76 per cent) of the cases.
People on social media did not hold back in expressing their views on the irony of schools being shut due to air pollution in Delhi and surrounding areas on Children’s Day