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

States like Manipur, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Nagaland had shown an increase in teenage pregnancies. Photo for representational purpose.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

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),’’ noted the PFI.

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,’’ said the Foundation in a release.

What 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%).

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 6:24:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/rise-in-teenage-pregnancy-higher-anaemia-rate-in-women-nfhs-5-phase-data/article33336112.ece

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