State of Health Education and Quality of Life in India

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Ms. Nandini Dubey, M.A.-II,
Department of Economics,
S.N.D.T. Women’s University, Churchgate, Mumbai-400020.

The promise to ensure universal health and education is common to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the National Common Minimum Program (NCMP). The typical notion of the term health education is that it’s about medical education. In this article it is attempted to dispel this notion. A healthy populace ensures better working and lesser man days lost. The contents of Health education are broadly been described in terms of General education and Medical education. Health education starts from the day a child is conceived in the womb of the mother and is a life long process. Issues like sanitation, nutrition, RTI (Right To Information) on healthcare needs to be taken care off. Consumption of intoxicants such as tobacco and alcohol and the Myths and Superstitions regarding diseases needs to be checked. Today we witness an uneven geographical distribution of health workers. The shortage of health workers is compounded by the fact that their skills, competencies, clinical experience, and expectations are often poorly suited to the health needs of the populations they serve. All such problems are taken into consideration in this article. 1. Introduction

Education and health are an inseparable part of living. Health education aimed mainly at changing individual behaviour and lifestyle faces growing challenges. The broader economic, social and environmental forces are the determinants of many diseases and of behaviours that contribute to ill health. (Freudenberg N.-1982) Ruslink Doris emphasizes the role of family in health management thus: “The family which regards good health as a precious possession takes precautions to protect it and to avoid those conditions which may jeopardize it. Such a family safeguards the health of each member in many ways by providing a healthful, happy home environment, a well balanced diet, a good balance of work, rest and recreation, by having periodic health and dental check ups and by taking immunization measures” (Doris, Ruslink-1963). Health education can be broadly classified into the following:

2.1.Lifelong Process:
Health education starts from the day a child is conceived in the womb of the mother. There are a number of do’s and don’ts that a mother is taught by the elders of the family. The advent of nuclear families has left this to the doctors to provide guidance about the dietary supplements during pregnancy and the vaccinations to be taken. After the child’s birth the various vaccinations for the child ought to be known. This responsibility lies with the PMC and the municipal hospitals. To make it a people’s movement people must be aware about the various stages of child care and its need. Breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to ensure child health and survival. A lack of exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of life contributes to over a million avoidable child deaths each year. Adequate breastfeeding support for mothers and families could save many young lives. Breastfeeding has to be learned and many women encounter difficulties at the beginning. Nipple pain and fear that there is not enough milk to sustain the baby are common. Health facilities that support breastfeeding - by making trained breastfeeding counselors available to new mothers - encourage higher rates of the practice. To provide this support and improve care for mothers and newborns, there are now more than 20 000 "baby-friendly" facilities in 152 countries thanks to a WHO-UNICEF initiative. To meet the growing needs of babies at six months of age, complementary foods should be introduced as they continue to breastfeed. Foods for the baby can be specially prepared or modified from family meals. WHO notes that: •breastfeeding should not be decreased when starting...
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