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11: Nutritional status of children

National Family Health Survey (NHFS-3) showed that there has not been much improvement in the nutritional status of children, within the last eight years.

  • During NFHS-2 (1998-1999), 47% of children under three were found to be underweight
  • 46% of children under three years of age being underweight, according to NFHS-3 (2005-2006).
  • This means every second child under six years of age in India is underweight, a statistic worse than that in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Infant mortality is still high at 57 per 1,000 births (previous 68 per 1,000 births)
  • Full vaccination coverage: 44% of 12 to 23-month-old children receiving all the recommended vaccinations (previous 42%).
  • Only 58% of children with diarrhoea were taken to a health facility.
  • 19.1% of infants are wasting (have low weight for their height), (from 20%)
  • 38.4% of all children under three years of age have stunted growth, a sign of prolonged under-nourishment.
  • 45.9% of Indian children under three are underweight.
  • Nearly 80% of infants now have anaemia, (up from 74%)