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Changes in Health Status of Women: A Comparative Analysis of NFHS Data
Authors: Parveen A, Gaash B, Ahmad D
Source: Indian Journal for the Practising Doctor, Vol. 5, No. 1 (2008-03 - 2008-04)
Topic(s): Women's health
Country: Asia
Published: FEB 2008
Abstract: Abstract In J&K State, which has been tormented by man and nature alike, the women’s health status has never been commendable. Passive reporting is poor, yet some agencies have attempted to gather data on various MCH indicators; National Family Health Survey, carried out by the IIPS, Bombay, in collaboration with ORG, Delhi, and the local State Population Research Centres has been collecting data for whole country since 1998. The first in this series (NFHS-1; 1998-99), could not be carried out in J&K because of the ongoing militancy, however, NFHS-2 and NFHS-3 provide useful data on health of the State’s women. Here, we have analysed data from NFHS-2 and NFHS-3 between J&K state with the country as a whole. The areas explored by the National Family Health Surveys (II and III) included: Family Planning, Marriage and Fertility, Maternity Care, and Nutritional Indicators. In most of the areas, the women from J&K seem to be better placed than the average Indian woman. Comparison of data between NFHS 2 and 3 shows progress in all parameters except nutrition at the country level. The data shows that rates for contraceptive use are improving, and the unmet need is decreasing. The comparison of fertility indicators shows a decline in the total fertility rate, and increase in the age at marriage and the median age at first birth, however, the rate of progress is better for J&K in respect of all measured indicators. Also maternity care provision has improved, with increased number of women getting at least 3 ANC visits, and benefiting from deliveries attended by trained personnel. The number of institutional deliveries has also risen; again, all the indicators show more improvement in J&K as compared to India. As far as nutritional indicators are concerned, the number of anemic women, pregnant or otherwise, is increasing in whole in India, which is a negative trend. The respective percentages though fallen in the J&K State are still quite high (~53%).