Health, Family Planning and Nutrition in India
Edited by: Rameshwari Pandya
At the time of India's independence in 1947, health care services were utterly inadequate, urban based, and curative in nature. The majority of India's population - especially the poor and those residing in rural areas - did not have access to modern health facilities. Consequently, the morbidity and mortality rates were quite high. Many women died under abortion procedures because access to contraceptives was not available. Similarly, antenatal and postnatal services were poor and out of reach for the majority of women and their families. Improvement in the health status of the population has been one of the major focal areas in India's social development programs. Over the past six decades, India has built up a vast health infrastructure at primary, secondary, and tertiary care levels in the government, the voluntary sector, and the private sector. India has invested massive amounts under successive Five Year Plans in medical education, training, and research. Considerable achievements have been made to improve health standards, such as increase in life expectancy, decrease in infant and maternal mortality, and the eradication of small pox and guinea worms. Nevertheless, problems abound. Malnutrition affects a large proportion of the population, especially women and children. An unacceptably high proportion of the population continues to suffer and die from diseases. Pregnancy and childbirth-related complications also contribute to the suffering and mortality of women. This book provides a comprehensive introduction on the current status of health and health-related services in India. It explains the procedures, objectives, achievements, and failures of India's Five Year Plans. More importantly, the book contains documentation of objectives, policies, programs, and achievements in the areas of public health, family planning, welfare, nutrition, sanitation, safe drinking water, clean environment, control of diseases, indigenous systems of medicine, medical education, training and research, and other matters pertaining to health. It also includes health-related statistics.
Publication Date: 6/30/2009