Odisha’s Progress In Child & Maternal Health Faster Than Other States

20 August 2019


Bhubaneswar: Odisha, has made significant progress in reducing child undernutrition, more than other states, such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, according to government data studied by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

In Odisha, stunting reduced from 46.5% of children below five years in 2005-06 to 35.3% in 2015-16; the proportion of underweight children decreased from 42.3% of children below five years to 35.8%; and the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), the government’s child nutrition and education program, reached 34% more people in 2017 than it had in 2014.

IFPRI, a research advocacy based in Washington D.C., studied the progress of several countries and 28 Indian states, identifying Odisha as a "nutrition champion", along with Thailand, Brazil, Bangladesh, Nepal, Peru, Vietnam and Ethiopia.

Odisha performed better than other poorer states

Odisha’s performance on delivering health and education services to children and mothers through this programme was among the best in India and got progressively better between 1992 and 2014, found a study, part of a book, ‘Nourishing millions: Stories of Change in Nutrition’, published by IFPRI.

“Odisha has demonstrated significant commitment to reducing undernutrition, expanded nationally sponsored nutrition-specific programmes, and launched state-led initiatives relevant to improving nutrition,” said Rasmi Avula, research fellow at IFPRI. Odisha also decentralised service delivery through self-help groups and focused on equitable access to interventions for the entire population, she explained.

Odisha has performed better than richer states, such as Gujarat, and better than poor states such as Bihar, in delivering ICDS.

In Odisha, coverage of antenatal care went up from 48.3% of beneficiaries in 2005 to 64% in 2015, compared to Bihar where it increased from 16.9% in 2005-06 to 18.7% in 2014-15. In Maharashtra, this proportion increased from 62.1% to 67.6%.

More Births in Medical Centres in Odisha Than In UP, Bihar

Institutional births--births in a medical centre under the supervision of a medical professional--increased from 35.6% of all births to 85.3% in 10 years to 2015 in Odisha. In Bihar, this went up from 19.9% in 2005 to 63.8% in 2015.

In Odisha, More Children, 12-23 yrs, Were Fully Immunised, Than In Rajasthan, MP

The proportion of 12- to 23-month-old children immunised increased from 51.8% in 2005 to 78.6% in 2015 in Odisha. In Bihar, this increased from 32.8% in 2005 to 61.7% in 2015. In Maharashtra, this was 58.8% in 2005 and 56.2% in 2015.

In Odisha, Proportion of Children Receiving Pre-School Education Has Grown between 2014 and 2017

In Odisha, 34 % more children were enrolled in pre-school education in anganwadi centres in 2017 when compared with 2014, according to Accountability Initiative’s analysis. In comparison, in Rajasthan, children enrolled decreased by 12%, and by 15% in Maharashtra, in the same time period.

In Odisha, of all castes, scheduled castes and tribes--marginalised communities entitled to certain benefits under the Indian constitution--utilised ICDS services the most, according to the Accountability Initiative report.