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GOI rejects Global Health Index after India’s worst ranking ever

Instead of trying to address the glaring issue of prevalent hunger which indicates an undernourished population and stunting and wasting among children, the government has deemed Global Health Index (GHI)'s methodology to be “unscientific” while the methodology is clearly explained in the report.

Sabrangindia 16 Oct 2021

hunger

The Global health Index (GHI) has ranked India at the 101st position slipping from its 2020 position at rank 94, ringing alarm bells all over. However, these alarm bells are limited to the masses as the Union government has refused to accept these ranking and has questioned the methodology, deeming it unscientific.

The GHI has deemed India to be in the “alarming” countries category as India's score plummeted from 38.8 in 2000 to 27.5 in 2021. The share of wasting among children in India rose from 17.1% between 1998-2002 to 17.3% between 2016-2020. India has performed better in indicators like under-5 mortality rate, prevalence of stunting among children and prevalence of undernourishment owing to inadequate food. In India 15.3% population is malnourished as per data between 2018-20 which is better from the figures from 2005-07 which was at 19.6%.

Stunting among children also reduced from 47.8%  in 2004-08 to 34.7% in period between 2016-20. The under 5 mortality has also seen a good improvement with 7.1% in 2006 to 3.4% in 2019. These are the figures that have determined India’s final scoring in the GHI 2021.

India’s neighbours, Nepal (76), Bangladesh (76), Myanmar (71) and Pakistan (92) are also in the “alarming” countries category however, they have fared better than India in the rankings with better overall scores.

What continues to be a worrying factor is India’s comparative performance in this Index. The only countries that have fared worse than India include Papua New Guinea, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Timor Leste, Haiti and Liberia.

About GHI

GHI is a tool for comprehensively measuring and tracking hunger at global, regional, and national levels. Its scores are based on undernourishment, child wasting, child stunting and child mortality. The GHI determines hunger on a 100-point scale, where 0 is the best possible score (no hunger) and 100 is the worst.

The report is prepared jointly by Irish aid agency Concern Worldwide and German organisation Welt Hunger Hilfe. Data used in the calculation of GHI scores come from various UN and other multilateral agencies.

Undernourishment data are provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Child mortality data are sourced from the United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME). Child wasting and child stunting data are drawn from the joint database of UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Bank, as well as from WHO’s continually updated Global Database on Child Growth and Malnutrition, the most recent reports of the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), and statistical tables from UNICEF.

At the outset, GHI’s findings for this year indicate that the world as a whole—and 47 countries in particular (including India)—will fail to achieve a low level of hunger by 2030. Certainly, conflict climate change and COVID-19 have been major drivers of these slipping numbers across the globe and wiped out any progress made by countries on this front.

A high GHI score can be evidence of a lack of food, a poor-quality diet, inadequate child caregiving practices, an unhealthy environment, or all of these factors. For the calculation of the 2021 GHI scores, undernourishment data are from 2018–2020; child stunting and child wasting data are from 2016–2020, with the most current data from that range used for each country; and child mortality data are from 2019.

Since 2012, hunger has increased in 10 countries with moderate, serious, or alarming hunger levels, in some cases reflecting a stagnation of progress and in others signalling an intensification of an already precarious situation.

“Hunger and malnutrition do not continue for want of solutions, but rather for want of the political will and resources to implement the solutions at hand and to respect, protect, and fulfill the right to food,” the report concludes.

Indian govt responds

Clearly unhappy with the poor rankings attributed the Indian government has questioned the “unscientific” methodology used by GHI report. The  Ministry of Women and Child Development said the results were “shocking” and “devoid of ground reality”.

“It is shocking to find that the Global Hunger Report 2021 has lowered the rank of India on the basis of FAO estimate on proportion of undernourished population, which is found to be devoid of ground reality and facts and suffers from serious methodological issues. The publishing agencies…have not done their due diligence before releasing the report,” said the Ministry.

“They have based their assessment on the results of a ‘four question’ opinion poll, which was conducted telephonically by Gallup. The scientific measurement of undernourishment would require measurement of weight and height…The report completely disregards Government’s massive effort to ensure food security of the entire population during the Covid period, verifiable data on which are available. The opinion poll does not have a single question on whether the respondent received any food support from the Government or other sources,” it said.

The complete report may be read here:

 

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GOI rejects Global Health Index after India’s worst ranking ever

Instead of trying to address the glaring issue of prevalent hunger which indicates an undernourished population and stunting and wasting among children, the government has deemed Global Health Index (GHI)'s methodology to be “unscientific” while the methodology is clearly explained in the report.

hunger

The Global health Index (GHI) has ranked India at the 101st position slipping from its 2020 position at rank 94, ringing alarm bells all over. However, these alarm bells are limited to the masses as the Union government has refused to accept these ranking and has questioned the methodology, deeming it unscientific.

The GHI has deemed India to be in the “alarming” countries category as India's score plummeted from 38.8 in 2000 to 27.5 in 2021. The share of wasting among children in India rose from 17.1% between 1998-2002 to 17.3% between 2016-2020. India has performed better in indicators like under-5 mortality rate, prevalence of stunting among children and prevalence of undernourishment owing to inadequate food. In India 15.3% population is malnourished as per data between 2018-20 which is better from the figures from 2005-07 which was at 19.6%.

Stunting among children also reduced from 47.8%  in 2004-08 to 34.7% in period between 2016-20. The under 5 mortality has also seen a good improvement with 7.1% in 2006 to 3.4% in 2019. These are the figures that have determined India’s final scoring in the GHI 2021.

India’s neighbours, Nepal (76), Bangladesh (76), Myanmar (71) and Pakistan (92) are also in the “alarming” countries category however, they have fared better than India in the rankings with better overall scores.

What continues to be a worrying factor is India’s comparative performance in this Index. The only countries that have fared worse than India include Papua New Guinea, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Timor Leste, Haiti and Liberia.

About GHI

GHI is a tool for comprehensively measuring and tracking hunger at global, regional, and national levels. Its scores are based on undernourishment, child wasting, child stunting and child mortality. The GHI determines hunger on a 100-point scale, where 0 is the best possible score (no hunger) and 100 is the worst.

The report is prepared jointly by Irish aid agency Concern Worldwide and German organisation Welt Hunger Hilfe. Data used in the calculation of GHI scores come from various UN and other multilateral agencies.

Undernourishment data are provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Child mortality data are sourced from the United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME). Child wasting and child stunting data are drawn from the joint database of UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Bank, as well as from WHO’s continually updated Global Database on Child Growth and Malnutrition, the most recent reports of the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), and statistical tables from UNICEF.

At the outset, GHI’s findings for this year indicate that the world as a whole—and 47 countries in particular (including India)—will fail to achieve a low level of hunger by 2030. Certainly, conflict climate change and COVID-19 have been major drivers of these slipping numbers across the globe and wiped out any progress made by countries on this front.

A high GHI score can be evidence of a lack of food, a poor-quality diet, inadequate child caregiving practices, an unhealthy environment, or all of these factors. For the calculation of the 2021 GHI scores, undernourishment data are from 2018–2020; child stunting and child wasting data are from 2016–2020, with the most current data from that range used for each country; and child mortality data are from 2019.

Since 2012, hunger has increased in 10 countries with moderate, serious, or alarming hunger levels, in some cases reflecting a stagnation of progress and in others signalling an intensification of an already precarious situation.

“Hunger and malnutrition do not continue for want of solutions, but rather for want of the political will and resources to implement the solutions at hand and to respect, protect, and fulfill the right to food,” the report concludes.

Indian govt responds

Clearly unhappy with the poor rankings attributed the Indian government has questioned the “unscientific” methodology used by GHI report. The  Ministry of Women and Child Development said the results were “shocking” and “devoid of ground reality”.

“It is shocking to find that the Global Hunger Report 2021 has lowered the rank of India on the basis of FAO estimate on proportion of undernourished population, which is found to be devoid of ground reality and facts and suffers from serious methodological issues. The publishing agencies…have not done their due diligence before releasing the report,” said the Ministry.

“They have based their assessment on the results of a ‘four question’ opinion poll, which was conducted telephonically by Gallup. The scientific measurement of undernourishment would require measurement of weight and height…The report completely disregards Government’s massive effort to ensure food security of the entire population during the Covid period, verifiable data on which are available. The opinion poll does not have a single question on whether the respondent received any food support from the Government or other sources,” it said.

The complete report may be read here:

 

Related:

Ever seen rice that floats on water?

Rights protect, policy evicts?

Is a third wave of Covid-19 coming this festive season?

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