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Kerala best state on health parameters, Uttar Pradesh worst: Niti Aayog

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Kerala remained the best performing state in health indicators for a fourth consecutive time, according to an index released on Monday, which also ranked Uttar Pradesh at the bottom of the rankings although the state also saw the most progress.

‘The Healthy States, Progressive India’ report — compiled by the Niti Aayog, Union Health Ministry and the World Bank for a fourth edition between 2019-2020 — surveyed 19 large states, eight small states and seven Union Territories. It did not include West Bengal and Ladakh due to unavailability of adequate data.

Among large states, Kerala and Tamil Nadu topped the list, and Telangana emerged strong on the third position in health outcomes and incremental performance. The state saw an improvement from the 4th position the last time — indicating that it has made strides in improving its health infrastructure by ensuring universal immunisation of children, setting up fully functional First Referral Units (FRUs) and all Primary Health Centres (PHCs) among others.

Maharashtra retained its fifth spot, and Andhra Pradesh fourth, down from 3rd in the last index.

UP was ranked the lowest at 19, but it has seen major improvements in 33 health indicators in recent years.

“Uttar Pradesh with the lowest Overall Reference Year (2019-20) Index Score ranked at the bottom (Rank 19) in Overall Performance, however, it ranked at the top in terms of Incremental Performance by registering the highest incremental change from the Base Year (2018-19) to Reference Year (2019-20),” the report said.

“UP’s overall health score has gone up from 25.06 to 30.57, an improvement of 20% points in a year. It has improved its performance on 33 of the 43 indicators with the most significant being on the full immunisation coverage, first trimester ANC (antenatal care) registration and pregnant women receiving four or more ANCs,” said a Niti Aayog official.

Among small states, Mizoram emerged as the best performer and Nagaland the worst.

Delhi and J&K were ranked the lowest among Union Territories in overall performance, but topped the list in incremental performance. Both have improved by one spot from the last edition of the survey.

The report also said that among the large states, the gap between the best and the worst performers declined this year as compared to the 2018-19 index.

Kerala got a score of 82.2 and UP, 30.57 — a difference of 51.63 points, which was improvement from a difference of 56.54 points from the previous index.

The survey ranked states on indicators such as neonatal mortality rate, under-five mortality rate, sex ratio at birth, maternal mortality ratio, modern contraception prevalence rate, full immunisation coverage, antenatal care, identification and cure of TB, etc. Kerala was the best performer in several categories, including neonatal mortality rate and under-five mortality rate.

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