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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

India and Health

     A report on infant mortality in the latest issue of “Down to Earth” magazine was a revelation to me in all sense. They have reported the worst in infant mortality rate (IMR) is a district in UP named “Shravasti”. They have reported it is the worst place to be born in entire India, where every 103 infants out of 1000 dies. They claimed that such a degradation is not lonely because of low female education but the lack of infrastructure and its geography plays an equal part. There are many districts in rural UP where, the denial and refusal of doctor’s doing their duty doesn’t affected much, thanks to the mid-wives and health centers. The report outlines the condition of health centers where babies are born, they say some uses high watt incandescent bulbs as incubators. There are many near by districts which were managed to lower IMR considerably without the help of Hospitals and Doctors. Doctors refuse to work in such rural areas where there is no basic infrastructure, many absconds when they are forced legally to work.
     As renowned economist and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen aforesaid, Poverty is not mainly because of the shortage but due to the lack of accessibility, our present status emphasize this fact. Here in India, our lack of Infrastructure is infamous and economists think our lack of infrastructure is like an ever tightening rope around the neck and will at one point, it breaks the neck of our country’s economy. This lack of infrastructure is the main reason why foreign investors and MNCs think twice before launching in India. Our lack of infrastructure is obvious in all respect of our economy like health, education, industry etc.

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     Why is our country in a below average position in providing basic infrastructure? We only spend less than 1% of our GDP in health industry. Most low GDP countries spend more than us. Articles 38, 39(e), 41, 42 all points to the relevance of public health for the welfare of people. Right to health is the significant and more pronouncing element in present century. For the public distribution system to work properly in India we need more convincing and creditworthy civil and public servants in the system. Graft acts as a block which hinders the free flow of the system, it must be eradicated or at least we must be able to curb it. We need good and responsible candidates for the civil and public services. Past is past and we cannot redo the past so lets hope for a better future and get ready to do our bit of it.