Karnataka’s health index score improves marginally

It has moved up from 9th to 8th position in the country, as per NITI Aayog rankings

Updated - December 03, 2021 08:30 am IST

Published - June 26, 2019 01:21 am IST - Bengaluru

Karnataka’s health index ranking has marginally improved taking the State to the eighth position in 2017-18 from ninth last year, as per NITI Aayog Health Index rankings released for all States and Union Territories in the country on Tuesday.

The State’s overall score on various parameters rose from 58.70 in 2015-16 to 61.14 in 2017-18.

As per NITI Aayog’s categorisation, the State has been ranked among 21 large States. The States are ranked on parameters including neonatal mortality rate (NMR), under-five mortality rate (U5MR) and full immunisation coverage.

Some parameters

Among larger States, Karnataka has been classified in the ‘Moderately Improved’ and ‘Frontrunner’ groups, respectively, on incremental performance and overall performance.

The State has shown improvement in parameters such as NMR, U5MR, proportion of low weight among newborns, proportion of institutional deliveries, and total case notification rate of tuberculosis (TB).

However, there are some disturbing trends such as deterioration in vital parameters such as sex ratio at birth, full immunisation coverage and treatment success rate of new microbiologically confirmed TB cases. Immunisation coverage in the State has deteriorated from 96.2 % in 2015 to 94.07% in 2017-18.

NMR (occurring in the first 28 days of life) per 1,000 live births is an important indicator as approximately 68% of infant deaths in India occur during the neonatal period. In Karnataka, NMR saw a decrease from 19 in 2015-16 to 18 in 2017-18. Karnataka’s U5MR that remained stagnant at 31 till 2015 has now declined to 29. In Low Birth Weight (<2.5 kg), the State witnessed a fall in proportion from 11.5% to 10.01%. The total case notification rate of TB has gone up from 105 in 2015 to 123 now. This rate is the number of new and relapsed TB cases notified in both public and private facilities per 1,00,000 population during a specific year.

Sex ratio declines

There has been a steady decline in the sex ratio at birth (SRB) in the State with the number of girls to 1,000 boys dropping from 939 in 2015-16 to 935 in 2017-18. It was 950 in 2013-15 and 939 in 2014-16, indicating lax implementation of Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostics Techniques Act. Not a single individual has been convicted for female foeticide in the State since the inception of the Act in the past 14 years. This also reflects the probable occurrence of sex-selective abortions.

Out of the 21 larger States, only two States (Chhattisgarh and Kerala) have recorded sex ratio of more than 950 girls for every 1,000 boys.

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