CHENNAI: Sex ratio at birth for children born in the last five years (females per 1,000 males) in Tamil Nadu has plummeted from 954 in 2015-16 to 878 in 2020-21, according to the data from the second phase of the National Family Health Survey-5 released on Wednesday.
However, Health Secretary Dr J Radhakrishnan told TNIE there was a statistical aberration in the data as the NFHS-5 was done based on 20,000 samples, and does not reflect the 10 lakh births reported in the State every year.
“…this does not mean we will ignore the data. We will continue to work on 17 districts where the child sex ratio is lower than the national average,” he said. According to the NFHS-5, the sex ratio for the total population had improved from 1,033 in 2015-26 (NFHS-4) to 878.
Worryingly, the survey showed 57.4 per cent children aged 6-59 months are now anaemic compared to 50.7 per cent in the previous survey, while 48.3 per cent of pregnant women aged 15-49 are anaemic compared to 44.4 per cent before.
Meanwhile, the latest survey showed the number of Caesarean deliveries in private health facilities had increased from 51.3 per cent in the last survey to 63.8 percent. In public health facilities, it had increased from 26.3 pc to 36 pc. Overall, the survey shows that 44.9 percent of births in the State are by C-section against 34.1 percent in 2015-16.
40.4% women obese
According to the survey, 40.4 pc women were found to be overweight or obese compared to 30.9 pc in 2015-16. Among men 37 pc are obese or overweight against 28.2 pc in the previous survey