World Health Day: India’s health report card is 'unhealthy'
The last India Health Report, focusing on nutrition, was released on December 10, 2015, by Union Health Minister JP Nadda. The report, prepared by Transform Nutrition Consortium, clearly indicated how India still suffers from malnutrition.
The report examines the current situation of the country in terms of nutrition at the national and state levels. In spite of making major improvements in the last 10 years, the report shows that India still struggles to tackle malnutrition. The country meets two of the eight targets set by the World Health Organisation.
Here we bring you 10 important points from the report:
1. According to the report, around 55 percent of Indian women aged between 15 and 49 have anaemia or low blood cell count.
2. Over 38 percent of children in India have stunted growth and 18.6 percent children under three years have low birth weight (under 2.5 kilograms).
3. Around 63 percent of mothers in India, who have children aged under 36 months, have received three or more antenatal checkups.
4. Vaccination has also not reached its target as only 65.3 percent children of 12 to 23 months have received full immunisation.
5. Malnutrition is still prevalent in the country, as only 50.5 percent infants of six to eight months receive solid, semi-solid and soft food.
6. The report also shows that 69.5 percent of Indian children aged between six to 35 months are suffering from anaemia.
7. It also shows that as many as 44.7 percent of girls aged between 15 to 18 have low Basal Metabolic Rate.
8. The report also points out that infant malnutrition might be a result of early marriage. It reveals that around 30 percent of women, aged 20 to 24, had been married before the age of 18.
9. Infant health has improved in India in the last 10 years as awareness about the correct baby diet has educated the mothers. At present, around 64.9 percent infants, aged under five months, are exclusively breastfed.
10. India's situation of malnutrition among children may pose bigger threats in health care for the country in the future. Only 21.3 percent of children under three years of age have received supplementary food recommended by Integrated Child Development Services for 21 days, a month.
This year's World Health Day has been dedicated to the subject of depression. The goal is to encourage people to talk about their experience with depression, and to seek help. Depression is often a hidden illness, but it can impact on people's ability to carry out even simple tasks, and in the most serious cases, can lead to death by suicide.