Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Bad news for Maharashtra

Here are some facts that appeared in different newspapers today, based on data from the National Family Health Survey -3, that remind of us about the real state of affairs in this country:

1. In Maharashtra, one of the better off states in the country, 35 per cent of pregnant women deliver their babies at home. The good news is that contraceptive use has increased from 61 per cent in NFHS-2 to 67 per cent in NFHS-3. But the sad news is that over one third of women in the state cannot access institutionalised delivery and have babies at home.

2. More bad news. Full immunisation coverage of children has decreased in the period between the two surveys. NFHS-2 found that 78 per cent of infants between 12 to 23 months had received all the basic vaccinations. By NFHS-3 this figure had dropped to 59 per cent.

3. The bad news doesn't stop there. NFHS-3 also found that two out of five children in Maharashtra are stunted or too short for their age, a clear indication of malnutrition. 37 per cent of the children were underweight and one out of five was wasted or too thin. All this in a state that ranks amongst the top five in the country in terms of GDP.

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