GUWAHATI, Dec 14 - Notwithstanding efforts by different government and non-government organisations, the National Family Health Survey 2019-20 has recorded a 22.5 per cent neonatal mortality rate, 31.9 per cent infant mortality rate and 39.1 per cent under-five mortality rate in Assam where 31.8 per cent women in the 20-24 years age group married before 18 years of age and 21.8 per cent males in the 25-29 years age group married before 21 years of age.
Again, 11.7 per cent women in the 15-19 years age group are already mothers or were pregnant during the time of the survey. This time the survey, conducted by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, covered 30,119 households, 34,979 women and 4,973 men in the State.
The survey further revealed that 35.3 per cent children below five years of age are stunted, 21.7 per cent children under five years of age are wasted and among them 9.1 per cent are severely wasted. Again, 32.8 per cent children below five years of age are underweight and 4.9 per cent children below five years of age are overweight.
Moreover, 68.4 per cent children in the age group 6-59 months, 66.4 per cent non-pregnant women in the 15-49 years age group and 54.2 per cent pregnant women in the 15-49 years age group are anaemic.
According to the survey, in Assam, 17.6 per cent women and 13.4 per cent men are below the normal rate of body mass index, 15.2 per cent women and 16.2 per cent men are overweight or obese, and 67.2 per cent of women and 44.9 per cent of men have high risk waist-to-hip ratio.
In another shocking revelation, the survey found that only two per cent children born at home were taken to a health facility for a check-up within 24 hours of birth, 8.1 per cent breastfeeding children in the age group 6-23 months received an adequate diet and 5.4 per cent non-breastfeeding children in the age group 6-23 months received an adequate diet in the State where the State Government claimed to have spent huge amount of fund on children development.
Again, during the time of pregnancy, 47.5 per cent mothers of Assam used to consume iron folic acid tablets for 100 days or more, 18.5 per cent mothers used to consume iron folic acid tablets for 180 days of more and within two days of delivery 65.3 per cent mothers received postnatal care from a doctor and other health workers.
On the use of family planning methods, the survey report said that in Assam 45.3 per cent people use modern methods of family planning and among them 9 per cent opt for female sterilisation, 0.1 per cent chose male sterilisation, 27.5 per cent use different kind of pills and 4.9 per cent opt for condoms.
The survey further found that 19.2 per cent women and 25.3 per cent men have comprehensive knowledge about HIV and AIDS and 71.5 per cent women and 85.2 per cent men know that consistent use of condoms can reduce the chance of getting HIV and AIDS.
The findings said in Assam, 66.3 per cent women in the 15-24 years age group use hygienic methods of protection during their menstrual period, 57.2 per cent women have mobile phones and 78.5 per cent women have own bank accounts.
Again, 32 per cent married women in the 18-49 years age group have ever experienced spousal violence, 2.3 per cent women of the same age group have experienced physical violence during pregnancy and eight per cent women in the 18-29 years age group experienced sexual violence.
On the use of tobacco and alcohol, the survey found that in Assam 22.1 per cent of women and 51.8 per cent of men in the 15 years age group and above use any kind of tobacco and 7.3 per cent women and 25.1 per cent men of the same age group consume alcohol.