Delhi’s sex ratio improves, still lower than national average

According to data from the fifth round of the National Family Health Survey (NHFS-5) that was released by the Union health ministry on Wednesday, Delhi’s sex ratio is now 923 girls for every 1,000 boys
In other welcome news for the Capital, there has also been a decline in the infant mortality and under-five mortality rates, the survey findings show. Infant mortality dropped from 31.2 to 24.5 per 1,000 live births -- much better than the national average of 35.2. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
In other welcome news for the Capital, there has also been a decline in the infant mortality and under-five mortality rates, the survey findings show. Infant mortality dropped from 31.2 to 24.5 per 1,000 live births -- much better than the national average of 35.2. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Updated on Nov 25, 2021 06:19 AM IST
Copy Link

The sex ratio at birth in Delhi has improved significantly over the last five years -- from 812 girls for every 1,000 boys to 923 girls for every 1,000 boys -- according to data from the fifth round of the National Family Health Survey (NHFS-5) that was released by the Union health ministry on Wednesday.

This is, however, still lower than the national average of 929 girl children born for every 1,000 boys recorded in the survey. The Capital’s civil registration system data from 2020 has reported a slightly higher 933 as the sex ratio at birth.

“Delhi’s sex ratio at birth has been improving over the years because of strict implementation of the PC-PNDT act. So far, Delhi was always pulled up by the Centre for a low sex ration as per the NFHS-4 data but we have been saying that it was higher as per our civil registration system – which is better than many states’ as we have over 90% institutional deliveries all of which get registered. This data is a validation,” said Dr Satyajit Kumar, state programme officer of the Pre-Conception, Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC-PNDT) cell, which works to prevent sex-selective abortion.

The sex ratio at birth in Delhi has improved significantly over the last five years -- from 812 girls for every 1,000 boys to 923 girls for every 1,000 boys -- according to data from the fifth round of the National Family Health Survey (NHFS-5) that was released by the Union health ministry on Wednesday.

This is, however, still lower than the national average of 929 girl children born for every 1,000 boys recorded in the survey. The Capital’s civil registration system data from 2020 has reported a slightly higher 933 as the sex ratio at birth.

“Delhi’s sex ratio at birth has been improving over the years because of strict implementation of the PC-PNDT act. So far, Delhi was always pulled up by the Centre for a low sex ration as per the NFHS-4 data but we have been saying that it was higher as per our civil registration system – which is better than many states’ as we have over 90% institutional deliveries all of which get registered. This data is a validation,” said Dr Satyajit Kumar, state programme officer of the Pre-Conception, Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC-PNDT) cell, which works to prevent sex-selective abortion.

|#+|

In other welcome news for the Capital, there has also been a decline in the infant mortality and under-five mortality rates, the survey findings show. Infant mortality dropped from 31.2 to 24.5 per 1,000 live births -- much better than the national average of 35.2. The under-five mortality reduced from 42.2 to 30.6 per 1,000 live births, as against the national average of 41.9.

All the comparative figures are from NFHS-4, for which data was collected in 2015-16.

India aims to bring down the under-five mortality to 23 deaths per 1,000 live births by 2030 under the India Newborn Action Plan.

“The declining infant mortality is reflective of the gradual improvement in the infrastructure, availability of manpower, and training available to take care of sick newborns. There has been an increase in ventilators and ICU beds for the infants across the city and the country. Initiatives such as Ayushman Bharat has also enabled the poor access to such interventions,” said a senior doctor from Safdarjung hospital, which delivers one of the highest numbers of babies in the capital.

The doctor, who asked not to be named, added there has been further improvement in health care facilities because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the effect of this will likely be seen later.

The all-India total fertility rate (TFR) dipped below the replacement rate of 2.1 for the first time in this round of the survey; the TFR in Delhi, which that was already low at 1.8, dipped further to 1.6. This means Delhi’s resident population is in a downward trajectory.

Poonam Muttreja, executive director of the Population Foundation of India, said the population in some states is already declining and will soon fall in others.

“Yet, India’s overall population size will not shrink immediately. The country is experiencing a population momentum as a result of a demographic transition. India has a high proportion, about 30.9%, of young persons in the age group of 10 to 24 years who are in the reproductive age group or will soon be. Even if this cohort produces one or two children per couple there will still be an absolute increase in total population,” she said.

The survey also showed that female sterilisation dropped by 1.8 percentage points in the city, while male sterilisation remained the same. However, an increase in condom use was reported -- from 20% in 2015-16 to 28.3%. This number is higher than the national average of 9.5%. There was also an increase in use of injectable contraceptives -- from 0.1% to 0.4% -- mainly driven in rural Delhi where 1.8% women surveyed were seen to use them.

“The male sterilisation uptake is slow; the burden of family planning largely lies with women. The use of condoms has increase but it is so low. The men need to step up,” she said about the low condom use nationally.

In terms of health parameters, survey data showed said there was an increase in the proportion of children under the age of 5 years who are overweight – from 1.2% in the 2015-16 round to 4% in the current round of the survey. The proportion of obese and overweight women increased from 33.5% to 41.3%, and men from 24.6% to 38%

Around 12.2% of the surveyed adults in the city had high to very high blood sugar, and needed regular medication for it. Also, 24.1% women and 32.8% in men were under medication for high blood pressure. The survey showed that 2.2% women in Delhi consume tobacco and 0.5% drink alcohol, as compared to 26.3% and 21.6% among men.

The data was collected in two phases -- January 4, 2020 to March 2,12020 (prior to the Covid lockdown) and November 21, 2020 to January 20, 2021. A total of 9,486 households were surveyed in the Capital as against a total of 650,000 households across the country.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, November 27, 2021