Key Messages

In India, low birth weight (LBW) is still a largely unmapped territory. This was one of the concerns raised by the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in a report recently. While the World Health Organization (WHO) has set a target of reducing LBW globally by 30% by 2025, the absence of data at a granular level threatens to derail India's efforts at salvaging the situation. According to the latest National Family Health Survey (NFHS), 22.1% of live births in India (43% of which belong to low-income households) do not have weight recorded at birth, leading to a potential underestimation of its prevalence in the country.

Perils of low birth weight