NFHS 5 Facts
- The National Family Health Survey has been released by the Ministry of Health and Family welfare and this survey includes only 22 states and doesn’t include larger states like UP, MP, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and so on.
- This survey points out some disappointing picture about the malnutrition and food insecurity in the country. It has shown that there has been a drop in four key metrics.
- There has been increase in anemia and wasting among children in several states compared to the previous survey. Also there has been an increase in childhood stunting in 13 of the 22 states.
- There was only noticeable improvement in just some states. Bihar has seen good progress in stunting but it remains the state with the highest percentage of stunted children.
- NFHS 5 also shows some improvements, these can be in areas like sanitation, clean cooking fuel, women’s well-being, declining child marriages and so on.
- But the persistence of issues like stunting and malnutrition shows a dismal picture and talks about schemes like the POSHAN abhiyaan hasn’t been able to control though has done good progress.
- Hence the Govt should focus on this aspect well and make sure the citizens welfare is kept in mind, it can also be seen that we can achieve SDGs in this regard.
- In the pandemic when people are being pushed in the trap of malnutrition and hunger, it needs to be taken care of well.
Road to food security
- It should be noted that the malnutrition levels in the country are higher than several African nations, the global hunger index 2020 places India on 94 of 107 nations which is lower than its neighbors like Bangladesh and Pakistan.
- The UNFAO report states that 194 million people in India go to sleep hungry and that is 23% of the world population that is hungry. This is the scenario when in India we have the National Food security act that promises the same to the people and Right to food is a part of the Article 21 which promises right to life.
- Also, in India we are a self-sufficient nation when it comes to good grains and India produces more than the estimated amount required to feed the entire population. It was seen that in 2018-19 India produced 283 m8illlion tons of food grains. The country also is the largest producer of millets and ranks second in production of wheat and rice; it is also a major producer of horticultural crops.
- These problems persist due to various factors, they can be as follows:
- Wastage of food grains – 62000 tons of food was damaged in the warehouses of FCI and in 2016 -17 8600 tons of food grains were lost.
- The existence of bogus and ineligible ration cards across the country aided by the fact some people do not even have access to ration cards adds to this issue.
- How can we better the scenario?
- We need to provide fair and remunerative prices to the farmers which will be done through MSP and it has to be provided to them at maximum level.
- We can universalize the PDS or the Public distribution system and strengthen the public procurement.
- We can also empower the present schemes like Annapurna yojana that covers only a certain segment of population should be spread to almost all segments.
- We can include pulses in the diet and as a part of the PDS as the Global Pulses confederation has said that, pulses are an important part of the diet and help in preventing diseases and ailments.
- Hence, these things have been taken into consideration and measures have to be taken.
- These are some highlights about the vaccine hesitancy among a study conducted of 1424 candidates.
- The majority of respondents (64%) in the study preferred to have an antibody test than have a vaccine.
- If the antibody tests negative, 47% would take the vaccine and if positive 29% would take the vaccine.
- 7.7% of the respondents said that they wouldn’t take the vaccine and of the participants who took the COVID antigen test, 26.4% were positive.
- The people who questioned the vaccine was due to the efficacy, also the side effects of the same.
- This pertains to vaccine hesitancy which means the people are hesitant to take the vaccine.