|Nutritional Indicators for Gujarat, Its Determinants and Recommendations: A Comparative Study of National Family Health Survey-4 and National Family Health Survey-5
|Jimeet Soni, Faisal S. Sheikh, Somen Saha, Mayur B. Wanjari and Deepak Saxena
|Malnutrition is a public health problem globally. Gujarat is one of the states facing challenges in dealing with malnutrition and anemia. The NFHS-5 (National Family Health Survey-5) data reveals that the gains made in NFHS-4 (National Family Health Survey-4) were reversed in NFHS-5. Despite numerous schemes and policies in place, Gujarat has yet to reach the full potential of these mandated policies to showcase exponential results in malnutrition and anemia. This study presents an overview of the nutritional status of districts in Gujarat, compared with NFHS-4, by illuminating its potential determinants and inter-district variabilities. An increased prevalence was seen in children under five who are stunted and severely wasted; however, the prevalence of children under five who are wasted improved in Gujarat. The prevalence of anemia increased across all age groups, showing an immediate sign of caution. The study observed decreased prevalence of immediate determinants and increased coverage of nutrition-specific interventions in NFHS-5 compared to NFHS-4 for nutritional indicators in Gujarat. Underlying determinants like households with electricity and improved drinking water have improved drastically in Gujarat. Furthermore, it elaborates on the gaps and improvements observed in inter-district variabilities among determinants in their coverage. This study also consists of actions taken by states that have fared better concerning nutritional indicators instead of improving the nutritional indicators for Gujarat. The study has categorized the districts into top-priority, priority, average, and front-runner districts of Gujarat based on the prevalence of nutritional indicators.