Vulnerability of Child Health to Climate Related Agricultural Productivity Threat in India

Sehgal Meena , Kumar Sujit, Kanwal Ghosh, Singh Nayan, Gupta Vidhu, Lal Kanhaiya, Sehgal Anu, Ajay Mathur
Sustainable Production and Consumption (May 2021),

India faces the burden of under-nutrition, especially among children under five years of age. The gap in nutritional needs and intake, point to the inadequacies in the food and nutrition security of India. This study examines data at the district level to identify vulnerable populations across the geographical expanse of the country. In order to identify districts appropriate for improving the food and nutrition security, a statistical approach was developed to prioritize areas for public health interventions. We used ranking based on two indices: Vulnerability Index of agriculture to climate change (VI), as a relative measure of risk to agriculture due to climate change severity, and a Child Health Index (CHI), based on key health parameters such as stunting, wasting, underweight, anaemia, and diarrhoea in the most vulnerable age group (<5 years). The CHI was created using principal component analysis of district-level data taken from NFHS-4. The leading principal components that explained at least 80% variation were considered. The study ranked the districts on basis of the CHI and VI. The analysis shows that the districts vulnerable to agriculture and child health are largely clustered and map together in central and western parts of India. These regions warrant policy interventions to enhance nutrition security on priority. The study provides an approach for prioritizing the regions and the populations that require higher attention to enhance crop productivity that would, in turn improve population health.

Agricultural vulnerability
Child health index
Nutrition security
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