What Surat Can Teach Other Indian Cities About Public Health

Chaya Jadhav (centre) from Dhule, Maharashtra, at the Pandesara Urban Centre in Surat. Jadhav came back to the centre for the delivery of her second child because she was satisfied by the hospital’s... The outpatient department at the Pandesara Urban Health Centre, Surat....   “Surat is called as mini-India,” said Hiren Patel, a counsellor at the centre’s Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) centre, who showed IndiaSpend th... “Surat is called as mini-India,” said Hiren Patel, a counsellor at the Pandesara Urban Health Centre’s STD and HIV centre, referring to the migrants who come to the city for work opportuniti...   Chaya Jadhav from Dhule, Maharashtra, sat in the OPD with her mother, a Surat resident. “I had delivered in this centre [during my last pregnancy],” she said. She came back for her second p... "Today is the day we do the documentation of our field work,” said Pooja Patel, 23, an auxiliary nurse/midwife. She said they use the state government’s MAMTA app on their phones to register p...   Each ANM looks after 200 pregnant women a year, she said. Because many of the women are migrants who go back to their hometown during their pregnancy, it can be difficult to keep track. “They... Source: Annual Report 2016, Vector Borne Disease Control Department, Surat Municipal Corporation...   Patel is one of 600 primary health workers in the Vector Borne Disease department, who work under the assistant insecticide officer, and monitor mosquito breeding sites, record fever cases and ... Mamta Patel is one of 600 primary health workers in the Vector Borne Disease department of the Surat Municipal Corporation who work under the assistant insecticide officer, and monitor mosquito br...   Preparing to tackle the effects of climate change   “Be it plague, HIV, malaria or filariasis, Surat has always been in the centre of the storm,” said Vikas Desai, technical director ... “Be it plague, HIV, malaria and filariasis, Surat has always been in the centre of the storm,” said Vikas Desai, technical director of the Urban Health and Climate Resilience Centre (UHCRC), a...   Through the UHCRC, Surat is now preparing for problems that climate change could cause.   The main task of the centre, set up in 2013 by the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network,...

In A Poor Gujarat District, Infrastructure Cannot Compensate For Lack Of Jobs

The neonatal intensive unit in Ahwa Civil Hospital has ten warmers and five attending nurses. Even though Dang district’s health infrastructure is better than in several other states, little emphasi... Source: National Family Health Survey, 2015-16 data Gujarat, Dang...   table,th,td{ font-size: 12px; font-family: arial; border-collapse: collapse; border: 1px solid black; } table{ width:580px; } th,td{ text-align:cente...   Forced migration because of a lack of jobs   Gujarat’s per capita income is Rs 122,502, 39% higher than the Indian average of Rs 82,269, but 75% of Dang’s residents live below the pov... .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: abso...   In Subir and Waghai blocks of Dang, 48% to 60% of the households migrate seasonally, after the monsoon, the study found. A lack of local employment opportunities in Dang combined with insuffici... Like most other sub-centres in the district, the sub-centre at Dhawlidod was clean, well maintained, adequately staffed and well-stocked with drugs....   Like most other sub-centres in the district, this sub-centre was clean, well maintained and adequately staffed. It was well-stocked with drugs and there were 76 pregnant women registered with t... “The health facilities at Ahwa have come a long way,” said Usha Valand, the auxiliary nurse and midwife who has been working at the Ahwa Civil Hospital since 1998.   So confident is...   Not all health centres are as good. At Garkhadi primary health centre (PHC), there was no telephone connection or mobile phone network, which means the parked ambulance is put to little use. By... Fifty-year-old Gaman Gavit, a farmer from Girmal village, spent Rs 6,000 to get one of his grandchildren in the school at Pipaldahad, a nearby village. Girmal only has a government primary school....   “The teachers (in local schools) aren’t locals. They stay in towns like Dharampur and Wajda and travel two hours to reach the village. By the time they reach here, they are exhausted so the... For all their lives, Ramabhai Gadhar, 60, and his wife, have been trekking 14 km uphill to reach their daughter’s house in Girmal from Dhulda village. Dhulda has no road to nearby villages. “W...   The district looked apolitical; there were no political banners, posters or even flags in the villages. Most villagers said they weren’t affiliated to one party but added that they hadn’t s...

2 Years To Swachh Bharat Mission Deadline, 62% Districts Still Report Open Defecation

With less than two years remaining until the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) deadline, 62.5%, or 400 of India’s 640 districts are yet to be declared open-defecation free (ODF), according to the  latest... var divElement = document.getElementById('viz1512142550152'); var vizElement = divElement.getElementsByTagName('object')[0]; ...   Funds are allocated under SBM as per states’ demands. Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh had received the most funds–Rs 2,477 crore, Rs 2,287 crore, Rs 2,287 crore... var divElement = document.getElementById('viz1512142609299'); var vizElement = divElement.getElementsByTagName('object')[0]; ...   “Since Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) is a demand-driven scheme, state-wise allocations are not made,” the ministry of drinking water and sanitation said in a Lok Sabha (lower house of Parl...

Support Groups Welcome New Rare Disease Policy, Seek Incentives For Orphan Drugs

Shashank Tyagi, a 27-year-old Delhi-based businessman, was diagnosed with Gaucher’s disease when he was five. “I still remember I used to vomit after every small meal as food wasn’t able to ... Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information   India has no standard definition for rare diseases as there is no comprehensive epidemiological data available, but 2000 estimate... Source: Organization for Rare Diseases India   ... Despite this large number, there has been very little effort to address the healthcare and other needs of people with rare diseases. Support groups founded by families–since rare diseases are of... Private, non-profit efforts  DART, a Bengaluru-based NGO dedicated to the support of patients with muscular dystrophy, is developing a customized genetic treatment for 29 patients who suffer from... IndiaSpend Solutions  For patients: The government should include free diagnostics, awareness and outreach programmes, as well as subsidised schooling in a rare diseases policy: R.S. Anand, foun...

New Toilets In Indian Trains No Better Than Septic Tanks: IIT Study

A new kind of toilet using bacteria to break down human excreta has been deployed in Indian trains over four years to 2017, at a cost of Rs 1,305 crore, but this toilet is no better than a septic tank... A bio-toilet tank fitted beneath a north-western railways coach. ...   The bio-digester project in the Indian Railways began during the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime. But the project has been speeded up under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Sw... The bacterium, Singh admitted, has not obtained an independent or a third-party certification from an organisation such as the UIC (Federation of European Railways); The DRDO does not have a pate...   Three experts had flagged problems with bio-toilets   This is not the first time the railways’ bio toilet project has been criticised. A 2009 study jointly conducted by the Lucknow-based... Bio-digester toilets were giving off an overpowering stench on account of the improper functioning of mechanical peripherals fitted in them; Toilets were getting jammed often, not only because pa...   An internal review of bio digesters conducted for September 2017 on five divisions of the Northern Railway Zone indicated 10% failures on account of internal choking in the Delhi division of No... IndiaSpend Solutions “IIT Kanpur developed 'zero-discharge toilets' which have a separator to segregate the solid matter of human excreta from the liquid portion. The liquid portion, ... (Jha is a New Delhi-based freelance journalist.)   ________________________   The railways ministry has responded to our story ‘New Toilets In Indian Trains No Better Than Septic Tanks: II... ... ________________________   Railways ministry: “It is not correct to say that bio-toilets in coaches are ineffective or ill-maintained. The waste water discharged from the bio-toilets is tested ... ________________________ ...   Railways ministry: “Mounting and security apparatus of toilet tanks faulty, leading to regular breakage of rubber connector and safety wires: Factually incorrect”   Srinand Jha: The po...

56% Abortions Unsafe Despite Being Legal; Proposed Amendments On Hold

Niketa Mehta was in the 24th week of her pregnancy when a test revealed substantial abnormalities in the foetus’ heart that posed a risk to its survival. Mehta decided to abort, but found herself re...   IndiaSpend Solutions The spirit of both PC&PNDT and MTP should be maintained but without intimidating doctors. At the moment, the punishment meted out to gynaecologists who...   (Agrawal is a Rajasthan-based independent journalist covering gender issues in India.)   We welcome feedback. Please write to respond@indiaspend.org. We reserve the right to edit response...

Making India Anaemia-Free: Can India Achieve What It Has Failed To For 70 Years?

“The government is putting in place dedicated, preventive and promotive strategies to make India anaemia-free,” declared Preeti Sudan, secretary at the central ministry of health and family welfar... table,th,td{ font-size: 12px; font-family: arial; border-collapse: collapse; border: 1px solid black; } table{ width:580px; } th,td{ text-align:center; padding:2px...   Efforts so far   Nutritional deficiency is by far the most common cause of anaemia worldwide. Nearly half the cases of nutritional deficiency-related anaemia in India are caused by consumi...

732 Million Indians Have No Access To A Proper Toilet, At Risk Of Diseases: New Report

“When I got pregnant, it was hard to walk to the field to defecate as the path was not safe. My mother-in-law used to accompany me because I needed help sitting down and getting up.”–...   var divElement = document.getElementById('viz1510754368440'); var vizElement = divElement.getElementsByTagName('object')[0]; ...   India’s low ranking on the sanitation index is despite the changes brought by the government’s Swachh Bharat (Clean India) Mission. Launched in October 2014, it increased the country’s sa... States With Higher Access To Improved SanitationHad Lower Prevalence Of Anaemia, Diarrhoea table,th,td{ font-size: 12px; font-family: arial; border-collapse: collapse; border:...   The tables above show the top five and bottom five states based on the percentage of households with improved sanitation, according to NFHS-4. States with higher percentage of improved sanitati...

Non-Communicable Diseases Rise In India, Poor States Still Grapple With Infectious Diseases

Students from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences conduct a community education programme in a Delhi slum. The Indian health system faces a dual risk: Non-communicable diseases such as heart d... Epidemiological Transition RatioOf Different States, 1990-2016 Source: India: Health of the Nation’s States 2016 ...   Heart disease caused the most deaths in India in 2016   In 2016, the death rate from ischemic heart disease–the top cause of death in India–was twice as much as the next bigge... Source: India: Health of the Nation’s States 2016Note: EAG: Eight underdeveloped states that form the Empowered Action Group--Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Ch...   Rise of non-communicable diseases result of changing lifestyle, greater life expectancy   In 1990, diarrhoeal disease and lower respiratory infection were the top two causes of DALYs, but ... Leading Causes Of DALYs, 1990-2016 ...   India at most risk from child and maternal malnutrition   A risk factor is a cause of disease and injury, that could be potentially averted.   Even though the disease burden due to ...

New TB Infections Fall, But Drug-Resistant Cases Rise

A patient collects his medicines for tuberculosis from a Directly Observed Treatment Short course (DOTS) centre in Meethapur, 17 km south-east of the national capital. In 2016, India had 3.57% fewer c...