This post of mine is centred towards Disease surveillance and missing links in India. Very recently when I joined the UN's Best Practices and Innovations Working Group for Maternal and child health, I went deep dive to understand the problems in this sector. The revelations were quite alarming...
- Infant mortality remains as high as 63 deaths per 1,000 live births. Most infant deaths occur in the first month of life, with up to 47 per cent in the first week
- Diarrhoea remains the second major cause of death among children, after respiratory-tract infections. Unhygienic practices and unsafe drinking water are some of its main causes.
- India has an estimated 220,000 children infected by HIV. It is estimated that 55,000 to 60,000 children are born every year to mothers who are HIV-positive.
- With an estimated 12.6 million children engaged in hazardous occupations, India has the largest number of child labourers under the age of 14 in the world.
- Children in India continue to lose their lives to vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, which remains the biggest killer. Tetanus in newborns also remains a problem.
- Anaemia affects 74 per cent of children under the age of three, more than 90 per cent of adolescent girls and 50 per cent of women.
Anaemia led post partum haemorrhage and death are common in India. A mild anemic condition may have no obvious symptoms. Individuals with moderate anemia may complain of headaches, fatigue, and lethargy. Severe anemia can cause shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain, or palpitations. In a rural setup however, this goes easily un-noticed. Spoke to a few doctors locally and realised that Asha workers can do it for them BUT ARE NOT EQUIPPED...
I would recommend reading Abby Tabor's Blog on