NIMCS REPORT Dismal Picture

Nepal Multiple Indicator Survey (NMICS) 2014 reveals some dismal pictures on women and children

March 4, 2016, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol 09.No 16, March 4,(Falgun 21, 2072)

Overall 43 percent of women felt that a husband was justified in hitting or beating his wife in at least one of five situations. The situations include: wife neglects the children, wife goes out without telling the husband, wife argues with the husband, wife refuses to have sex with the husband and wife burns the food.

Prepared by Central Bureau of Statistics with support from UNICEF, the recently released Nepal Multiple Indicator Survey (NMICS) found that 46 percent of rural and 29 percent urban population still believe that. Overall 81 percent of all women expressed satisfaction with their life.

The total fertility rate in Nepal is 2.3 meaning that a Nepali woman, by the end of her reproductive years, will have given birth to an average of 2.3 children. The adolescent birth rate is 71 births per 1000 women age 15-19. Early child bearing is relatively common with one in 6 women (16 percent) aged 20-24 having had a live  birth before the age of 18.

About fifty percent of women aged 15-49 currently married or in a martial union are using family planning methods with47 percent using modern method and 3 percent using a traditional method. Contraceptive prevalence was relatively low among women aged 15-19 years. Interestingly, educated women use less family planning methods than uneducated.

About 68 percent of women aged 15-49 years received antenatal care from skilled health personnel at least once and 60 percent had the recommended four antenatal care visits by any provider.

Around 55 percent of women aged 15-19 years delivered at a health facility and 56 percent were attended by a skilled health provider.

Nine percent of women aged 15-49 use cigarettes and tobacco more than once in a day. Four percent of women told that they consumed a cigarette before the age of 15.

Ten percent of women aged 15-49 said that they consumed more than a glass alcohol in previous month. Out of them 7 percent women said that they consumed the alcohol before the age of 15.

Eighty two percent of children aged 1-14 years have experienced psychological aggression or physical punishment. Among them 75 percent urban and 83 percent rural. Thirty seven percent of children aged 5-17 years are involved in child labor.

Seventy-four percent of children attended first grade of primary school who have attended preschool in the precious year among them 84 percent urban and 73 percent rural.

Eleven percent of children under age 5 have wasting prevalence. Fifty-seven percent of infants under 6 months of age are exclusively breasted.  Eighty-five percent of children aged 12-23 months have ever received all vaccinations as recommended in the national immunization schedule.

Child Mortality

Despite making a good progress to achieve some of the goals of MDGs, Nepal still needs to do more to improve the situation in child health, nutrition and child mortality and reproductive health.

The infant mortality rate in Nepal is 33 percent per 1000 live births, the under-five mortality rate is 38 deaths per 1000 live births and neonatal mortality rate is 23 percent 1000 live births. According to the report, there are substantial disparities in terms of urban, rural location, mother’s education and household wealth status as well as between the regions.

Released jointly by member secretary of National Planning Commission Suresh Man Shrestha and UNICEF country Representative Tomoo Hozumi, the report extensively highlighted the state of child mortality, nutrition, child health, water and sanitation, reproductive health, early childhood development, education and literacy, child protection HIV/AIDS and other issues.

Only three percent children under five in Nepal were moderately or severely underweight, with nine percent classified as severely underweight.  More than one third , 37 percent of children under age of five are moderately or severely stunted with 16 percent severely stunted and 11 percent were moderately or severely wasted with 3 percent severely wasted.

Only two percent of children were moderately or severely overweight. Some 57 percent of infants under six months of age were exclusively breastfed. Mother’s education level was negatively associated with exclusive breastfeeding. Overall 74 percent of infants aged 6-8 months had received solid, semi-solid or soft foods at least once during the previous day. Boys were more likely than girls to receive solid, semi-solid or soft foods.

Although immunization coverage in Nepal has improved over the past decade, only 67 percent of children aged 12-23 months had received all recommended vaccinations by their first birthday.

Some 18 percent were treated with oral rehydration salts and zinc. Children aged 0-11 months (11 percent) were the least likely to receive ORS and zinc. Four in every five mothers were adequately protected against neonatal tetanus(77 percent). Only 61 percent of women living in the poorest households were protected compared to 88 percent of women living in the richest households.

Water And Sanitation

Nepal has made a tremendous progress in water and sanitation. The report shows that ninety-three percent of the population has access to safe drinking water sources. Out of those who do not have access to safe drinking water sources, only 14 percent used an appropriate water treatment method.

More than four-fifths or eighty two percent of household members were at the risk of E-coli concentration in their household waters. Almost three quarters 71 percent of the household population were at some risk.

The findings of the Nepal Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (NMICS) 2014 included data on child mortality, nutrition, child health, water and sanitation, reproductive health, early childhood development, education and literacy, child protection, HIV and AIDS, access to mass media and used of information and technology, well-being and tobacco and alcohol use.

According to a press release issued by UNICEF, MICS is an internationally agreed household survey program developed by UNICEF and constitutes of one of the world's largest sources of statistical information on children and women. It assists countries in filling data gaps for monitoring human development in general and the situation of children and women in particular.

The round 5 of MICS was conducted by CBS in all 75 districts of Nepal from January to June 2014 with technical and financial support from UNICEF.  The previous round of NMICS implemented in 2010 covered only the mid and far western regions (24 districts) of Nepal.

During the current round, NMICS tested water quality from sampled households (the second country globally to test water quality in MICS) and also measured children's weight and height for the first time to estimate the nutritional status of children below five.

Member secretary of National Planning Commission Suresh Man Shrestha said this is an important document which ultimately helps Nepal government to frame the national policy on women and children.

Addressing the program, UNICEF Representative Tomoo Hozumi said that the report was delayed for almost a year because of earthquake. “This report will be useful for the government to know the progress achieved in various sectors related to children and women. Nepal has made great progress in MDGs particularly reducing under-five child mortality rate. This report shows progress and shortcomings in the areas,” said UNICEF Representative Tomoo Hozumi.

NMICS 2014 provides valuable information and evidence on the situation of children and women in Nepal before the country was hit by 7.8 magnitude earthquake on 25 April 2015. The findings of the survey also fed into the Government’s Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) to identify the financial needs of post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction. The NMICS survey findings will also contribute to the UN Secretary-General’s report to the UN General Assembly on the achievements of Millennium Development Goals.

The survey presents the data from an equity perspective by showcasing disparities concerning sex, region, area, education, household wealth, and other characteristics. The national survey of 12,405 households included interviews with 14,162 women aged 15-49 and 5,349 mothers/caretakers of children under five years. In addition, water testing was also performed in 1,492 households.

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