National Family Health Survey – 5 (NHFS) (Issues related to Health : GS -3)

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare ( MoHFW) recently released the results from the first phase of fifth round National Family Health Survey (NHFS).

National Family Health Survey (NHFS)

 NFHS is a large-scale nationwide survey of representative households. The data is collected over multiple rounds.

The MoHFW has designated International Institute for Population Sciences in Mumbai as the nodal agency.

The survey is done in collaboration with many institutes and organizations and receives funding from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with supplementary support from UNICEF.

This is the fifth NFHS and refers to the 2019-20 period. There is no fixed time gap to conduct the survey. The first four referred to 1992-93, 1998-99, 2005-06 and 2015-16, respectively.

The factsheet for NFHS-5 provides state-wise data on 131 parameters and include questions such as how many households get drinking water, electricity and improved sanitation; what is sex ratio at birth, what are infant and child mortality metrics, what is the status of maternal and child health, how many have high blood sugar or high blood pressure etc.

The data was collected in the second half of 2019 — covered 17 states and five Union Territories. The second phase of the survey covering big states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Jharkhand was disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic; its results are expected to come out in May 2021.

The most important takeaway is that between 2015 and 2019, several Indian states have suffered a reversal on several child malnutrition parameters.

Key findings of the report

Access to drinking water sources and sanitation facility:

Child health parameters:

Fertility rate:

The total fertility rate (TFR) across most Indian states declined in the past half-a-decade, more so among urban women.

Total Fertility Rate (TFR) is defined as the average number of children that would be born to a woman by the time she ends childbearing. 

Below-replacement fertility is defined as a combination of fertility and mortality levels that leads to a negative population growth rate, hence a declining population size.