Almost 50% adolescent girls in Karnataka are anaemic, national health survey

The state showed improvement in most parameters in women's reproductive health and child health.
School girls
School girls
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Karnataka reported a worrying number of young women who are anaemic (49.4%) in the National Family Health Survey 5 (NFHS), for the year 2019-19, which was released by the Union government on Saturday. The same figure in 2015-16 was 45.3%.

The state showed improvement in most parameters in women's reproductive health and child health. The sex ratio rose to 979 females per 1000 males in 2015-16 to 1034 and the neonatal mortality rate improved from 15.8% to 18.5%.

However, the number of women who consumed iron and folic acid when they were pregnant has come down. It is now 26.7% from 32.6% reported five years ago.

The report also suggested obesity levels are increasing in men and women in the state. Children who were breastfed within an hour of their birth also reduced to 49% from 56 % five years ago. 

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Saturday released the fifth National Family Health Survey (NFHS) which contains detailed information on population, health, and nutrition for India and its states and Union Territories.

The results of 17 states and five UTs (Assam, Bihar, Manipur, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Tripura, Andhra Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, Telangana, West Bengal, Mizoram, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Dadra Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu) have been released now as Phase-I.

Phase II covering the remaining 12 states and 2 UTs had their fieldwork suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been resumed from November and is expected to be completed by May, 2021, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said a substantial improvement in maternal and child health indicators over NFHS-4 (2015-16) was recorded in the present survey.  

Across the country, malnutrition parameters were lower than the ones reported in 2015-16. The mortality rate among infants and those under five years of age fell in 18 states and union territories out of a total 22 surveyed, while 16 of them registered a rise in the percentage of under-five children who are underweight and severely wasted.

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