Background: The decadal change in Vitamin A and iron supplement deficiency changed at significant levels but still a matter of issue in India. The deficiency of Vitamin-A decreased from 81.9% to 40.5%, and iron supplement deficiency decreased form 95.3% to 73.9% from 2005-06 to 2015-16 among children aged 6-59 months in India. The present study determines the socio-economic inequalities in Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) and Iron deficiency (ID) among children aged 6-59 months in India and to estimate the change in the percent contribution of different socio-economic correlates for such inequality from 2005-06 to 2015-16.
Methods: Data from National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 2005-06 and 2015-16 was used for the analysis. Bivariate analysis and logistic regression analysis was used to carve out the results. Moreover, Wagstaff decomposition analysis was used to carry out socio-economic inequality analysis.
Results: It was revealed that Vitamin A deficiency was reduced from 85.5% to 42.1% whereas ID was reduced from 95.3% to 73.9% from 2005-06 to 2015-16 respectively. Child’s age, mother’s educational status, birth order, breastfeeding status, place of residence and empowered action group (EAG) status of states were the factors which were significantly associated with Vitamin A deficiency and Iron deficiency among children. Moreover, it was found Vitamin A deficiency and Iron deficiency got more concentrated among children from lower socio-economic strata. A major contribution for explaining the gap for socio-economic status (SES) related inequality was explained by mother’s education, household wealth status, empowered action group status of states for both Vitamin A deficiency and Iron deficiency among children under five years in India.
Conclusion: Schemes like the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) would play a significant role in reducing SES related gap for micro-nutrient deficiency among children in India. Proper implementation of ICDS will be enough for reducing the gap between rich and poor children regarding micro-nutrient deficiency.