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The status of infant health in India
Authors: Susmita Bharati, Manoranjan Pal, and Premananda Bharati
Source: Health, 5(8D): 14-22; DOI: 10.4236/health.2013.58A4003
Topic(s): Child health
Children under five
Country: Asia
Published: AUG 2013
Abstract: This paper investigates the present status of infant health in India through percentages of infants who are undernourished, not immunized or diseased and finds its relationship with socio-demographic variables. The relevant data have been obtained from the Third National Family Health Survey which was carried out in 2005-2006 in India. The sample consists of 7562 infants (i.e., children of less than 1 year). For socio-demographic data, places of residence, sex of infants, ethnic composition, religion and wealth index were considered. Considering the different types of under-nutrition, it has been found from our data that the percentages of undernourished infants range from 22 to 28 only. There are considerable variations in the different types of immunization status ranging from 17.9% opting for measles vaccination to 73.2% taking BCG vaccination. Prevalence of morbidity also varies from 15 to 22 percent depending on the three types of morbidity considered in this paper. Among the socio-economic variables, mother’s education and wealth index have been found to have profound effect on the nutritional status and also on morbidity of infants but there is no impact found on the status immunization. Thus it gives clear cut indications for the government and NGOs to take actions to ameliorate poverty and to improve the level of education, especially of female population in India. KEYWORDS: Height-for-Age; Weight-for-Height; Weight for Age; Morbidity; Immunization Status; Infants; India