Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Incidents of Child Marriages fell significantly in India: Annual Health Survey Report

According to the data released by first Annual Health Survey (AHS), conducted by the census authorities, the incidents of child marriage fell significantly over the past few years. The data was released on 16 April 2012.
The AHS, world’s largest demographic survey, was carried out by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in collaboration with the Registrar General of India (RGI) and Ministry of Home Affairs of India. The survey was conducted in all 284 districts of the Empowered Action Group (EAG) states that includes Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and Assam. The nine states account for half of the country’s population. The project was launched to assess the impact of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) in all 284 districts. Until recently the only reliable source of such health data was the National Family Health Survey, which the health ministry has now discontinued.
The survey was conducted by private agencies under the supervision of RGI. The key findings of the latest reports of the survey are as follows:
•  One-fifth of marriages in Bihar between 2007-09 involved women under 18.
•  In Jharkhand, the proportion of child marriage went down from 60 percent to 18 percent earlier.
•  Rajasthan with 22 percent cases of child marriage has the highest proportion of women under 18 getting married.

•  Contraceptive use remains low despite improvements in several regions.
•  Among the 9 states, Bihar has the lowest contraceptive use with just over a third of women aged 15-49 using any method of contraception.
•  Sitapur in UP emerged as the district with the lowest contraceptive use as only 20 percent of women found using any method of contraception.
•  Condition of maternal and infant health is still the subject of worry.
•  Less than 5 percent of women in UP had a full ante natal check-up.
•  Chhattisgarh, with 20 percent full ante-natal check-up, emerged as the best-performing of these states.
•  Less than half of pregnant women in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh have safe deliveries.
•  UP, Bihar and Uttarakhand saw 40 percent of safe deliveries.

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