The National Family Health Study (NFHS) is a large, multi-round study that looks at a representative group of Indian households.

 The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare picked the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) in Mumbai to run the study and give technical advice.IIPS works with a number of field groups to get surveys to the right places. (F.O.s).

Each round of the NFHS has had two clear goals: to give the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and other organizations the important health and family welfare information they need to make policies and programs.

To let people know about new health and family safety problems that are important. The study tells India, both on a state and a national basis, about the following:

  • Fertility
  • Babies and young children dying
  • Making plans for a family
  • Mother and kids’ health
  • Nutrition and anemia affect the health of the fetus.
  • How many people use health and family planning programs, and how well do they work

What is the NFHS?

The main goal of each round of the NFHS has been to provide high-quality information about health, family welfare, and new issues in these areas.

Between 1992 and 1993, the NFHS-1 was done.

In 1998 and 1999, the NFHS-2 was done in all 26 of India’s states.

USAID paid for the project, and UNICEF also helped out.

Between 2005 and 2006, the NFHS-3 was finished.

NFHS-3 got money from USAID, the Department for International Development in the U.K., the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UNICEF, UNFPA, and the Indian government.

NFHS-4: The NFHS-4 for 2014-2015.

Along with the 29 states, NFHS-4 included all six union regions for the first time. The 2011 census also gave numbers for most factors at the district level for all 640 districts in the country.

The survey asked about a wide range of health issues, such as fertility, infant and child mortality, mother and child health, perinatal mortality, adolescent reproductive health, high-risk sexual behaviour, safe injections, tuberculosis, malaria, non-communicable diseases, and domestic violence.

The 5th National Family Health Survey

The NFHS-5 got the information between 2019 and 2020. About 6.1 million people did it.

Many of the NFHS-5 markers are the same as those of NFHS-4, which was done in 2015–16 so that differences could be seen over time.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Phase 2 of the poll, which covered the remaining states, was put on hold. In September 2021, the results came out.

The data from the NFHS-5 can be used to set standards and see how far the health field has come over time.

The NFHS-5 numbers not only show how well the programs that are already in place are doing, but they also show where new, area-specific programs are needed and which groups need basic services the most.

It helps the country keep track of the 30 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) it wants to reach by 2030.

Some of the new topics in NFHS-5 are early education, disabilities, access to a toilet, death registration, how to take a bath when you have your period, and abortion methods and reasons.

The NFHS-5 has new areas of focus that will help improve existing programs and give policymakers new ways to get engaged. These areas are:

  1. Getting more children vaccinated in more places.
  2. What kids need to know about micronutrients
  3. Menstrual care
  4. how many people smoke and drink
  5. Other parts of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) include measuring high blood pressure and diabetes in people who are at least 15 years old over a wider age range.

  • For the first time in 2019, the NFHS-5 asked how many women and men have ever used the Internet.
  • According to the NFHS-5 Sex Ratio, there were 1,020 women for every 1000 men in the country in the years 2019–2021.
  • This is the most people of each gender in any NFHS study, and it is also the most people of each gender since the first modern simultaneous census in 1881.
  • The sex ratio for the NFHS in 2005-2006 was 1,000, which means that there was the same number of women and men.                             
  • Sex Ratio at Birth: For the 1st time, there were 1,020 adult women for every 1,000 adult men in India between 2019 and 2021.But the numbers don’t change the fact that India’s sex ratio at birth (SRB) is still more skewed toward boys than the average SRB. (which is 952 girls per 1000 boys).The states with the lowest SRB are UP, Haryana, PUNJAB, and RAJASTHAN.
  • How many babies were born: The TFR has also dropped below the amount at which people should be able to replace themselves from one generation to the next.From 2019 to 2021, the total fertility rate (TFR) was 2, which was just below the replacement birth rate of 2.1.
  • In rural areas, STFR still stands at 2.1, but by the time the 2015-16 NFHS was done, it had already dropped below the replacement birth rate in cities.If the TFR goes down, it means that fewer babies are being born. This means that the average age of the people in India will go up.
  • The study shows that the number of people under 15 in the country has gone down even more, from 28.6% in 2015–16 to 26.5% in 2019–21.
  • Nutrition for children: The number of children with stunted growth has gone down from 38% to 36%, the number of children with lost growth has gone down from 21% to 19%, and the number of children who are underweight has gone down from 36% to 32%.
  • All phase-II states and U.T.s have seen better nutrition for children, but this isn’t a big deal because these markers rarely change a lot in a short amount of time.The number of overweight teenagers has increased from 2.1% to 3.4%.
  • Anaemia: The number of children under 5 with anaemia has gone up from 58.6% to 67%, while the number of women with anaemia has gone up from 53.1% to 57%, and the number of men with anaemia has gone up from 22.7% to 25%. This is true in every state in India.
  • All states are in the “severe” group except for Kerala, which has a rate of 39.4%.
  • Vaccination: The full vaccination drive for children 12–23 months old has gone from 62% to 76% across all of India.
  • More than three-quarters of 12–23-month-old children in 11 of the 14 states and U.T.s are fully vaccinated. Most of these people live in Odisha, where this number is 90%.
  • Institutional Births: Institutional births have gone from 79% of all births in India to 89%, which is a big jump.
  • Institutional service is 100% in Puducherry and Tamil Nadu, and it is more than 90% in 7 of the 12 Phase II states and U.T.s.Along with the rise in hospital births, there has also been a big rise in c-sections in many states and provinces, especially in private hospitals.It questions the unethical behaviour of private healthcare workers who put money before women’s health and control over their bodies.
  • Setting up a family: The total contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) has gone up a lot, from 54% to 67% in India and in almost all Phase-II states and U.T.s, except for Punjab.Nearly all states and the U.T. have also seen more people using current birth control methods.The amount of unmet family planning needs in India as a whole and in most of the Phase-II states and U.T.s has gone down from 13% to 9%.
  • In the past, India’s unmet need for room was a big problem, but now it’s down to less than 10% in all states except Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh.
  • Breastfeeding: The number of children under six months who are only nursed has gone up from 55% in 2015–16 to 64% in 2019–21. All of the states and regions in Phase II are also doing very well.
  • Women’s Empowerment: Indicators of women’s empowerment show that India as a whole and all phase-II states and U.T.s have made a lot of progress.
  • Between the NFHS-4 and NFHS-5 surveys, the number of women in India with bank accounts went from 53% to 79%. This is a big change.
  • In the second part, more than 70% of women in every state and the District of Columbia have a working bank account.

Key Terms

  • Total Fertility Rate (TFR) shows the average number of children a woman is expected to have between the ages of 15 and 49, which is when she can have children.After taking into account deaths, uneven sex ratios, infant mortality, etc. Replacement level is the required quantity of children to replace parents. When the number of people goes below this point, it starts to go down.
  • The contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) is the number of women who are using at least one method of birth control or whose sexual partner is using at least one method of birth control.
  • The number of girls born for every 1,000 boys born is the sex ratio at birth or SRB. One of the best ways to find out how a boy feels about girls is to use the SRB.
  • Stunting is when a child’s growth and development slow down because they don’t get enough to eat, they get sick a lot, or they don’t get enough social contact.
  • It is caused by chronic or repeated undernutrition, which is usually linked to poverty, poor health and nutrition of the mother, frequent illness, and/or bad food and care when the child is young. Being fat means having a low weight for your height. It usually means you’ve lost a lot of weight recently, but it can last for a long time. If they aren’t taken care of well, children who don’t get enough to eat have a higher chance of dying.
  • The infant mortality rate (IMR) is the number of babies who die before their first birthday for every 1000 babies who are born alive in a given year. On average, 32 babies die out of every 1,000 live births in the country. This means that, on average, 36 people die in rural places, and 23 people die in cities.