National Family Health Survey: ‘95% of births in Maharashtra in 5 years took place at a health facility’

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As many as 95 per cent of births in Maharashtra in the last five years took place in a health facility, and only 5 per cent at home, the fifth round of the National Family Health Survey (2019-20) has revealed. The percentage of births in health facilities, mostly public facilities, in Maharashtra was seven per cent higher than the national rate of 88.6 per cent.

The percentage of births in a health facility in the state has increased by 5 per cent in the last five years, from 90 per cent in 2015-16 to 95 per cent in 2019-20. Institutional births are more common among women who have received an antenatal check, women with 12 or more years of schooling, women who are having their first birth, and urban women, according to the survey.

Among the 36 districts in the state, almost all saw an uptick in the number of births in a health facility. In Sindhudurg, Bhandara, Nagpur, Chandrapur and Mumbai, 100 per cent of all births were in a health facility while in 18 other districts, the percentage of births in a health facility was higher than the state average of 95 per cent.

The most remarkable difference was observed in the district of Nandurbar, where the percentage of children born in a health facility jumped from 56 per cent in 2015-16 to 76 per cent in 2019-20.

The NFHS-5 fieldwork for Maharashtra was conducted from June 19, 2019, to December 30, 2019, by the Indian Institute of Health Management Research and TRIOs Development Support Ltd. Information was gathered from 31,643 households, and from among 33,755 women and 5,497 men.

However, not all survey results showed a positive trend in the state, especially in home births. The use of a clean blade to cut the umbilical cord for home births, as recommended, saw a dip from 94 per cent to 87 per cent in 2019-20. The use of disposable delivery kits remained stagnant, at 44 per cent, between 2015 and 2020.

Data showed that 81 per cent of home births followed the recommendation that the baby be immediately wiped dry and then wrapped without being bathed first, which was 4 per cent less than 2015-16.

Only 2 per cent of home births in the state were conducted by skilled health personnel, compared to 3.6 per cent in the previous health survey. The state percentage is also lower than the national percentage of 3.2.

The percentage of births with assistance from a skilled provider was 94 per cent and another 2 per cent were delivered by a traditional birth attendants.

In the last five years, 25 per cent of births were delivered by caesarean section, and 41 per cent of caesarean sections were emergency procedures.

Ten per cent of women who had a live birth in the five years preceding the survey received financial assistance under Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY). As many as 14 per cent of women who received financial assistance under JSY were from rural areas while six per cent were from urban settings. Women from Scheduled Tribe (17%) and Scheduled Caste (14%) were more likely than women from any other caste/tribe group to receive financial assistance under JSY.

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