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Opinion

The Minister of Health publishes the fifth National Survey of Family Health for 17 states, 5 UT – health

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Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Saturday released the Fifth National Family Health Survey (NFHS), which contains detailed information on population, health and nutrition for India and its states and union territories.

A statement from the Ministry of Health said it is a globally important data source, as it is comparable to the Demographic Health Surveys (DHS) Program of 90 other countries on several key indicators and can be used for cross-country comparisons and development indices.

This NFHS is being conducted in 6.1 lakh sample households, including household-level interviews to collect information on indicators related to population, health, family planning, and nutrition.

Results from 17 states and 5 TUs (Assam, Bihar, Manipur, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Tripura, Andhra Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, Telangana, West Bengal , Mizoram, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Dadra Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu) have launched Phase I.

Phase II covering the remaining 12 states and 2 UT had its field work suspended due to Covid-19, which resumed from November and is expected to be completed by May 2021.

This survey reported a substantial improvement in maternal and child health indicators relative to NFHS-4 (2015-16), according to the statement.

He said the fertility rate has declined further, contraceptive use has increased, and unmet need has dropped in most phase I states.

The survey found a significant improvement in vaccination coverage among children ages 12 to 23 months in all states and UT.

Indicators of empowerment of women (including women with bank accounts) also show considerable progress, according to the statement.

The minister also presided over an event to commemorate Universal Health Coverage Day.

Speaking on the occasion, he said that Covid-19 has greatly magnified the need to build resilient health care systems and ensure their indiscriminate and equitable access for all.

“We must end the status quo that brought us here and settle for nothing less than strong health systems that protect everyone, now and in the future. I have long believed that India has the ability to offer the world a solid model for providing universal health coverage, ”he said.

Praising the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his conception and implementation of Ayushman Bharat, the minister said that the program launched in 2018 has completely revolutionized the primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare system in the country, with a strong focus on the preventive health care.

The minister noted that through the two wings of Ayushman Bharat, the Health and Welfare Centers (HWC) and Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (PMJAY), the government has made quality healthcare affordable and accessible to millions of people in the country.

“We have made remarkable progress in the operationalization of Ayushman Bharat – Health and Wellness Centers and we have crossed an important milestone in our journey. With 51,500 centers now in operation, more than a third of the target has been met. This has led to better access to affordable primary health care services for more than 25 million people, ”he said.

The minister said the government’s goal is to establish Rs 1.5 lakhs of such centers by December 2022. “This also includes 12,500 AYUSH health and wellness centers being created by the AYUSH Ministry.”

The Union Health Minister noted that more than Rs 1.45 million of cashless treatments have been provided to the poorest citizens under AB-PMJAY and said the program was a great source of support and security for millions of families. reeling under the stress of serious illness.

The minister also released some nifty apps and guidelines for implementing and monitoring various health programs.

This includes the SDG-3 Health Dashboard that would allow policymakers and program implementers to identify key priority areas requiring action and frame a future action plan to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

It also published a Health and Wellness Center Commissioning Compendium that provides an overview of progress and achievements in the last two years in the commissioning of health and wellness centers across the country under the Ayushman Bharat program.

The minister praised the primary health care workers who have been at the forefront of the battle against Covid-19 for rising to the unprecedented challenge and for continuing to serve society selflessly.

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