|Does socio-economic inequality exist in micro-nutrients supplementation among children aged 6–59?months in India? Evidence from National Family Health Survey 2005–06 and 2015–16|
||Shobhit Srivastava and Shubham Kumar
||BMC Public Health, Volume 21, Article number: 545; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-10601-6
||Background: Globally, about 25% of children suffer from subclinical vitamin A deficiency (VAD), and approximately 300 million children globally had anemia as per 2011 estimates. Micronutrient deficiencies are generally referred to as “hidden hunger” because these deficiencies developed gradually. The present study determines the socio-economic inequalities in vitamin A supplementation (VAS) and Iron supplementation (IS) among children aged 6–59?months in India and to estimate the change in the percent contribution of different socio-economic correlates for such inequality from 2005 to 06 to 2015–16.
Methods: Data from National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 2005–06 and 2015–16 was used for the analysis. Bivariate analysis and logistic regression analysis was used to carve out the results. Moreover, Wagstaff decomposition analysis was used to find the factors which contributed to explain socio-economic status-related inequality among children in India.
Results: It was revealed that the percentage of children who do not receive vitamin A supplementation was reduced from 85.5% to 42.1%, whereas in the case of IS, the percentage reduced from 95.3% to 73.9% from 2005-06 to 2015–16 respectively. The child’s age, mother’s educational status, birth order, breastfeeding status, place of residence and empowered action group (EAG) status of states were the factors that were significantly associated with vitamin A supplementation and iron supplementation among children in India. Moreover, it was found the children who do not receive vitamin A supplementation and iron supplementation got more concentrated among lower socio-economic strata. A major contribution for explaining the gap for socio-economic status (SES) related inequality was explained by mother’s educational status, household wealth status, and empowered action group status of states for both vitamin A supplementation and iron supplementation among children aged 6–59?months in India.
Conclusion: Schemes like the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) would play a significant role in reducing the socio-economic status-related gap for micro-nutrient supplementation among children in India. Proper implementation of ICDS will be enough for reducing the gap between rich and poor children regarding micro-nutrient supplementation.