Government has been incentivizing pregnant women to deliver in institutions since more than a decade now. The impact is evident in reduction of maternal mortality ratio at national and district levels. My doubt is that won’t these schemes that finance the demand-side create a false sense of security?
Such schemes, called conditional cash transfers, have skyrocketed institutional load to such high levels that antenatal wards in government hospitals are unable to accommodate the admissions. So, what happened to the quality of care?
Since independence, we have been crooning over abysmally low proportions of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) spent on health. This makes me wonder where all this money for demand-side financing comes from. Let us assume that all the money from GDP is paid as incentives. Now, health is a subject of the states. Union only provides resources and supports the state plans. Can the states then find their own sources of revenue to improve the quality? I bet there are more than hundred different channels through which states can make savings. A flyover completed before the deadline earns savings of several crores.
I think it is time the government prioritizes on trainings, skills development, placing the skilled personnel where their skills are required and putting the necessary infrastructure in place.
Conditional cash transfers will remain, but it is time we shine light on the supply-side.
Right to Education Act (RTE) implementation, which enabled a near-universal access to education, especially for the most vulnerable. Of the children enrolled in schools between 2007-2008 and 2012–13, 56% were girls, and 32% from disadvantaged groups of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The number of children out of school and dropout rates reduced substantially, though not evenly, across all social groups. Right to Health, similarly, could drastically improve the access of millions to a healthy life.
The draft National Health Policy formulated by the government in December 2014 aims to address the “urgent need to improve the performance of health system”, especially to address the high inequity in health outcomes and the healthcare costs that push over 63 million Indians to poverty. The policy proposes that the Centre enact a National Health Rights Act which will ensure health as a fundamental right, the denial of which will be justiciable. Now, the Centre needs to take seriously the Supreme Court’s directive to take a final call on the National Health Policy.
Climate change, deforestation etc are partly been suspected as the causes but it’s the lack of awareness among the people to whom sustenance means shelter, water and food. The non-immune adults are easy prey of virulent mosquitoes and therefore, fertile to fuel a new epidemic. Aedes aegypti is the transmitter for several severe afflictions like dengue and yellow fever. Sometimes it is referred as ‘yellow fever mosquito’.
The Court further directed the India central government to take an active role to assure that the standards and guidelines concerning the proper protocol for sterilization procedures be strictly followed. In the past, state governments have been responsible for enforcing the policy standards with limited success.
The ruling also requires that all women undergoing sterilization must first have the possible risks, side effects, and consequences of the procedure read to them in their own language. This is an important proviso given that there are no fewer than 122 major languages spoken in India.
Make love, not diseases.
There are more than 25 different organisms and nearly 50 disease conditions of the reproductive and urinary systems that can result from an unhealthy lovemaking. Let’s call it sex from here.
The passionate act, when sought through orifices that are not primarily meant for the whole purpose of procreation, can often turn disastrous as regards health of the partners. It opens the gateway to a whole range of pathogens from the humble louse to the mighty syphilis and the dreadful HIV.
Though classically called Venereal diseases, the World Health Organization called for a revamp in the terminology. ‘Venereal’ is derived from Venus, the Greek God of love. There was a huge stigma that this word could generate. Now, how many people can really take the fact head on that a beautiful act of divine pleasure seeking can often end up in painful lesions and discharges? Since the year 1999, according to the WHO mandate, these diseases are called sexually transmitted infections.
There’s just one life, and safe sex is the best sex.