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Figure 1: A Map of the Indian Government's National Commission on Population Report (Government-of-India, http://populationcommission.nic.in: 80/mapbased.htm) National Commission on Population Report (accessed August 4, 2004) highlights the composite index of major health, social, and economic indices, which paints a detailed portrait of the general state of the health of various communities within the many States of India. The composite index employed 12 variables including population growth, births, deaths, safe water and sanitation, female literacy rates, child marriage, fertility, family planning, sex ratio, immunization, access to skilled obstetric care, and connection to other villages via paved roads. (See legend on the Right of the Map for color codes that signify the composite index score of each region studied throughout India). Balrampur district (located just above the alphabets 'SH' in UTTAR PRADESH), in the northeastern side of the most populous North Indian State of Uttar Pradesh of ~200 million, borders Nepal, and shaded in Red, is at the very bottom of the list of the Government of India's health–social–economic–composite index. This district, which had a composite index <46, had the highest incidence of neural-tube defects (up to 8.2 per 1000 live births).[3] There are an additional 168 districts, primarily in North India, with comparable composite index values as Balrampur district, consistent with widespread and serious deficits in health, social, and economic development throughout North India. Footnote to Map: This Map, which was originally accessed from the Government of India's National Commission on Population Report in 2004, was used (and referenced) in the Discussion section of the Lancet paper[3] to provide a wider context to the work on neural-tube defects in India. This map was later accessed in May 2006 and referred to on the topic of folate deficiency and neural-tube defects in a supplement published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Antony AC. In utero physiology: Role of folic acid in nutrient delivery and fetal development. Am J Clin Nutr 2007;85:598S-603S) following a National Institutes of Health (USA)-sponsored conference at Baylor University, Texas, USA. This Map and related data were inexplicably removed from the website sometime after these publications, and no one in the Indian Ministry of Health has responded to repeated requests for clarity on this important work. Hence, it is retained to accompany this Editorial for both historical value and as the only available map on this topic that was originally generated by the Government of India.

Figure 1: A Map of the Indian Government's National Commission on Population Report (Government-of-India, <a target=http://populationcommission.nic.in: 80/mapbased.htm) National Commission on Population Report (accessed August 4, 2004) highlights the composite index of major health, social, and economic indices, which paints a detailed portrait of the general state of the health of various communities within the many States of India. The composite index employed 12 variables including population growth, births, deaths, safe water and sanitation, female literacy rates, child marriage, fertility, family planning, sex ratio, immunization, access to skilled obstetric care, and connection to other villages via paved roads. (See legend on the Right of the Map for color codes that signify the composite index score of each region studied throughout India). Balrampur district (located just above the alphabets 'SH' in UTTAR PRADESH), in the northeastern side of the most populous North Indian State of Uttar Pradesh of ~200 million, borders Nepal, and shaded in Red, is at the very bottom of the list of the Government of India's health–social–economic–composite index. This district, which had a composite index <46, had the highest incidence of neural-tube defects (up to 8.2 per 1000 live births).[3] There are an additional 168 districts, primarily in North India, with comparable composite index values as Balrampur district, consistent with widespread and serious deficits in health, social, and economic development throughout North India. Footnote to Map: This Map, which was originally accessed from the Government of India's National Commission on Population Report in 2004, was used (and referenced) in the Discussion section of the Lancet paper[3] to provide a wider context to the work on neural-tube defects in India. This map was later accessed in May 2006 and referred to on the topic of folate deficiency and neural-tube defects in a supplement published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Antony AC. In utero physiology: Role of folic acid in nutrient delivery and fetal development. Am J Clin Nutr 2007;85:598S-603S) following a National Institutes of Health (USA)-sponsored conference at Baylor University, Texas, USA. This Map and related data were inexplicably removed from the website sometime after these publications, and no one in the Indian Ministry of Health has responded to repeated requests for clarity on this important work. Hence, it is retained to accompany this Editorial for both historical value and as the only available map on this topic that was originally generated by the Government of India.">