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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 61  |  Issue : 9  |  Page : 535-544

How the findings of national family health survey-3 can act as a trigger for improving the status of anemic mothers and undernourished children in India: A review

1 Department of Community Medicine, Gajara Raja Medical College, Gwalior; Department of Community Medicine, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Chandrakant Lahariya
J-395, Darpan Colony, Thatipur, Gwalior - 474011
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5359.34525

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The national family health survey-3 (NFHS-3) reports of declining fertility rate while increasing prevalence of anemia in women and children, since NFHS-2 in 1998-99. The proportion of anemic, stunted and wasted children has also increased since the previous two rounds. NFHS trends show that the status of mother's and child's health indicators is continuing to deteriorate in spite of the many government-run targeted programs, e.g., integrated child development scheme (ICDS), Midday meal program. The only good sign in the findings is the favorable trend in fertility indicators and infant mortality rate. A review of the findings of NFHS surveys, the current government policies and programs targeted upon the improving of health status of women and children in India and of the published scientific literature was conducted. The aim of the review was to understand the health situation of women and children in India and to suggest measures to bring about positive changes in the health status of this population. The analysis suggests that the findings of these successive surveys are not being utilized for the necessary corrective measures. The authors argue that although the NFHS is a useful exercise, in the wake of decentralized planning, the country needs more detailed data focusing on the districts. Synchronization of the ICDS and national rural health mission (NRHM), along with entrusting the responsibility of conducting NFHS to the planning commission, is the other possible solution to tackle the problems of rising anemia and malnutrition in the country.


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