National Family Health Survey

In five years, vaccination coverage drops 13% in Punjab

In five years, vaccination coverage drops 13% in Punjab

A file photo of children being vaccinated in Nawanshahr.

Vishav Bharti

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 25

The gains made on the vaccination front over the years have been squandered with the National Family Health Survey-5 (NFHS-5) showing a drop of 13 per cent in the past five years in the state.

According to the survey, the number of children (aged 12-23 months), who were vaccinated with BCG, measles, three doses each of polio (excluding polio vaccine given at birth) and DPT or Penta vaccines, witnessed a 13 per cent drop as compared to the last survey. The number, which was 89 per cent in the NFHS-4 (2015-16), has come down to 76 per cent.

In the area-wise breakup of vaccination, interestingly the rural areas have fared better than the urban areas. In the rural areas, 77.9 per cent children were vaccinated, but it was 76.2 per cent in the urban areas.

As far as the vaccine-wise count is concerned, a decline has been noted in the coverage. The BCG vaccination coverage was down 8 per cent; polio vaccine down 14 per cent; Penta or DPT vaccine down six per cent; Rotavirus down six per cent; Hepatitis-B down five per cent when compared to the NFHS-4.

Similarly, the percentage of children (9-35 months old) who received vitamin-A doses in the past six months has also declined by five points.

As far as the breakup of vaccination provider is concerned, around 91 per cent children received their vaccinations in public health facilities. However, eight per cent received most of their vaccinations in private health facilities.

Dr Balwinder Kaur, State Programme Officer for Immunisation, said the department was getting regular monthly reports on vaccination coverage. “It was not that bad in our regular reports. We are almost meeting the same parameters as in the NFHS-4. We are yet to receive the report officially. We will take appropriate action, once we get the report officially,” she said.

The survey was conducted from January 5, 2020, to March 21, 2020, prior to the imposition of the lockdown and from December 6, 2020, to March 31, 2021, post lockdown by the Society for Promotion of Youth and Masses. The information was gathered from 18,824 households.

Decline in antenatal checkups

The state witnessed a decline in antenatal checkups of pregnant women. It is an important indicator of maternal and child health. As per the NFHS-5, the percentage of pregnant women who had such checkups in the first trimester was 68.5. This is around seven per cent down when compared to the NFHS-4. Similarly, the percentage of mothers who had at least four antenatal care visits was 59.3. This is also down by over nine per cent.

Institutional deliveries up

The state witnessed an improvement in key maternal and child health indicator — institutional births. The percentage of institutional births has increased to 94.3. It stood at 90.5 per cent in the NFHS-4. Of the total, 53.9 per cent deliveries took place in public healthcare institutions. The number of home births came down from 4.5 per cent to 2.6 per cent.

77.2% Female population above six years attended school
 99.7% Population living in households with electricity
 98.8% Population living in households with an improved drinking water source
 86.6% Population living in households that use improved sanitation facilities
 8.7% Women (age 20-24 yrs) married before the age of 18 years
71.1% Children between the age of 6-59 months are anaemic

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