Nagesh Prabhu

BANGALORE: India’s largest ever demographic and health survey — District Level Household Survey (DLHS-3) — will commence soon in all States.

More than 600 districts will be covered for DLHS-3 under the Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) Project. The survey, estimated to cost Rs. 36 crore, is being sponsored by the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry.

In Karnataka, the Population Research Centre, Dharwad, will conduct the survey and complete it by March next.

A sum of Rs. 2 crore has been granted for the exercise in all 29 districts, T.V. Sekher, DLHS-3 national coordinator and professor of the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), Mumbai, told The Hindu on Wednesday.

The IIPS, Mumbai, is the national nodal agency to design and execute the nation-wide survey. The first DLHS was held in 1998-99 in 504 districts and the second during 2002-04 in 593 districts.

DLHS-3 would cover all districts in the country during 2007-08 with the assistance of 15 agencies.

Utilisation of services

Dr. Sekher said the survey aimed at providing information on ante-natal care, extent of safe deliveries, use of contraceptives, unmet need for family planning, immunisation services, child health, reproductive tract infection/sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS and women’s health status in general at the district level.

The survey would generate data on utilisation of the services provided by district hospitals, community health centres and primary health centres.

It will also assess people’s perceptions of the quality of the services.

The findings would help in monitoring the health programmes at the district level, and assessing the effectiveness of schemes being implemented under the National Rural Health Mission.

Married women in the age group 15-49 and unmarried women aged between 15 and 24 in selected households would be interviewed.

Prior to the household survey, detailed mapping of the localities would be undertaken. All households in an area listed.and the households would be selected randomly from the list.

No other health survey in the country provided district level estimates.

Results in a month

The results would be available to all concerned within a month of completion of fieldwork in each district, Dr. Sekher said.