ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Population, Health Status, and the Sustainable Development Goals

Emerging Indications from NFHS-5

The fact sheets with key results of the National Family Health Survey-5, conducted in 2019–21, from 36 states/union territories were released recently by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. In this article, the authors highlight the emerging population and health issues from the NFHS-5 to monitor the country’s progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and the key policy issues to strengthen the population and health programmes in the country.


The main objective of the National Famil Health Survey (NFHS) has been to provide high-quality data on health and family welfare and other emerging issues. Five rounds of the NFHS (199293, 199899, 200506, 201516, and 201920) have been successfully completed in India. All the rounds of the NFHS have been conducted by the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), Mumbai as the national nodal agency, with technical support from ICF United States (US) and implemented under the aegis of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India. The NFHS-5, implemented during 201921, was successfully completed despite two waves of COVID-19 by temporarily halting the survey in the second-phase states and union territories (IIPS and Macro International 2021). This article presents the important findings on Indias population and health status based on the fact sheet indicators.

The NFHS-5 sample is designed to provide national, state/union territory, and district-level estimates of various indicators that are critical to monitor the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on population, health, nutrition, and gender equality, among others. However, some indicators like sexual behaviour, womens work, HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitudes, practices, domestic violence, and mens health are provided only at the state/union territory and national levels. The content and definitions are similar to other rounds to allow for comparisons over time. However, the NFHS-5 has been expanded to include new issues such as the extent of preschool education, disability, access to a toilet facility, death registration, bathing practices during menstruation, and methods and reasons for abortion. The scope of clinical, anthropometric, and biochemical (CAB) testing has been expanded to include measurement of waist and hip circumferences and malaria testing.

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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