rural health problems and measures

Topics: Medicine, Health care, Public health Pages: 8 (3107 words) Published: November 27, 2013
Rural health problems and measures :-
Health is an asset to man and to his community and has come to be regarded as a prerequisite to socio-economic development. India is the second most populous country of the world and has changing socio-political demographic and morbidity patterns that have been drawing global attention in recent years. Despite several growth orientated policies adopted by the government, the widening economic, regional and gender disparities are posing challenges for the health sector. Healthcare is the right of every individual but lack of quality infrastructure, dearth of qualified medical functionaries, and non- access to basic medicines and medical facilities thwarts its reach to 60% of population in India. A majority of people lives in rural areas where the condition of medical facilities is deplorable. About 75% of health infrastructure, medical man power and other health resources are concentrated in urban areas where 27% of the population live . Contagious, infectious and waterborne diseases such as diarrhea , amoebiasis, typhoid, infectious hepatitis, worm infestations, measles, malaria, tuberculosis,whooping cough, respiratory infections, pneumonia and reproductive tract infections dominate the morbidity pattern,especially in rural areas. However, non-communicable diseases such as cancer, blindness, mental illness, hypertension, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, accidents and injuries are also on the rise .The health status of Indians, is still a cause for grave concern, especially that of the rural population. This is reflected in the life expectancy (63 years), infant mortality rate (42/1000 live births), maternal mortality rate (212/1,00000 live births).Considering the picture of grim facts there is a dire need of new practices and procedures to ensure that quality and timely healthcare reaches the deprived corners of the Indian villages .Though a lot of policies and programs are being run by the Government but the success and effectiveness of these programs is questionable due to gaps in the implementation. However, over a period of time some progress has been made. To improve the prevailing situation, the problem of rural health is to be addressed both at macro (national and state) and micro (district and regional) levels. This is to be done in an holistic way, with a genuine effort to bring the poorest of the population to the centre of the fiscal policies. INDIA’s health sector is diverse and includes not just modern medicine but also a rangeof traditional systems like Homeopathy, Ayurveda, Unani. The overall government expenditure on health is rather low at around 1.2 percent of GDP. Public health is squarely a state responsibility and particularly so in a developing country as ours it has to go hand-in-hand with sanitation, drinking water, health education and disease prevention. The selective health intervention during the colonial period resulted in the so-called ‘modern medicine’ in India. After independence, the state has chosen to follow these ‘western models’. This system, which is highly selective, institutionalised, centralised and top down not by oversight but by design and which treats people as objects rather than subjects, has failed to address the needs of the majority, that is to say, the rural poor and indigenous people. While a significant portion of the country’s medical needs, especially in rural areas, have been attended to by the indigenous health systems such as Ayurveda, homeopathy, unani, naturopathy and folk medicine, it has been conveniently neglected by the policy makers, and planners. While the 1980s saw the beginning of liberalisation and privatisation of the Indian economy, the 1990s have accelerated the pace under the umbrella of Structural Adjustment Programs.Today, the availability of drugs is inadequate in all of the PHC, SC and hospitals that have been set up by the government over the years. There is thus an...
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