50% of kids in 10 states are anaemic : Survey


NEW DELHI – More than 50% of children in 10 states are anaemic, the latest national health survey showed once again highlighting the daunting challenge posed by malnourishment in the country. Besides children, more than half of the women were also found to be anaemic in 11 states and Union territories.

However, findings of the first phase of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) for 2015-16 covering 13 states and two UTs revealed marked improvements in maternal and child health and nutrition. The first phase of the survey included Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Goa, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand, West Bengal and two Union Territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Puducherry.

“Anaemia has also declined but still remains widespread. More than half of children are anaemic in ten of the 15 States and UTs. Similarly, more than half of women are anaemic in eleven states/UTs,” the survey said. Over-nutrition continues to be a health issue for adults. At least three in 10 women are overweight or obese in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Puducherry, and Tamil Nadu, the survey said.

Noting that poor nutrition is less common than reported in the last round of the survey, it said that fewer children under five years of age are now found to be stunted, showing intake of improved nutrition. However, in states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Meghalaya, more than 40% children are still stunted.

“Wasting is still very high by international standards in all of the states and UTs,” the survey said. Data collection for the second phase states and UTs is currently ongoing. The 2015-16 NFHS-4 is the fourth in a series of national surveys.

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