Healthy Places / Healthy People

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India is the seventh largest country in the world. It covers 3,287,263 square kilometers and is also the second most populous country with 1.27 billion people. Even with the fasting growing economy in the world, India faces numerous challenges of poverty, malnutrition, poor health care, corruption and terrorism (Countries and Their Cultures, 2011). As we explore this widely diverse country and delve into the equity of life from the beginning and the access of healthcare in this country, we hope to achieve and learn more as healthcare professionals.

2.0 Healthy Places/ Healthy People India has a universal health care system run by the government. This primary duties of this program is aimed at raising the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health. In India, the private health sector is more popular than the public health sector (UNICEF, 2011)

2.1 Environmental: clean water, electricity, sewage, communications infrastructure

88% of the Indian population has access to clean drinking water in urban areas. 84% have access in rural areas. But there are still many villages in India where people have to walk miles of barren land for drinking water. The 2011 statistics shows that 34% of the rural population in India had no access to electricity. Over 6% lacked power in the urban areas as well. The power supply in India is intermittent and unreliable. In India, about 626 million people practice open defecation. 54% of the urban population and only 18% of the rural population has access to sanitation facilities. India has a total of 929.37 million mobile subscribers. India is the third largest user of internet services but the penetration of these services is limited. 40% of internet users rely on their mobile phones (India Central Statistical Agency, 2011).

2.2 Nutritional status/ hunger index The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) developed a global hunger index (GHI) that would allow for comparisons across countries. India is ranked 67th in the Global hunger index stated for 84 countries. India is home to 42% of the world’s under nourished children. (India Central Statistical Agency, 2011).

2.3 Infectious diseases The lack of safe drinking water, poor sanitation and overcrowding results is the result of water borne, vector borne and other infectious diseases in India. More than 45% of the Indian population is prone to such diseases (WHO, 2011).

2.4 Poverty rates It is estimated that India inhabits one third of the world’s poor. 32.7% of the Indian population falls below the poverty line. This accounts to about 350 million people (Nation Master Updates,2012).

2.5 Average income India’s per capita income, a measure for the living standard in the country, is estimated to have gone up 11.7 per cent to Rs 5,729 per month in 2012-13 at current prices (Nation Master Updates,2012).

2.6 Percentage living in poverty

India is home to 33% of the world’s poor. This accounts to about 1.2 billion people. 32.7% of the Indian population falls below the poverty line. This accounts to about 350 million people (Nation Master Updates,2012).

2.7 Educational status by gender The Right to Education Act has increased the enrolment of children in schools, especially the number of girls. 96.5% of all rural children between the age of 6-14 and 83% of all rural 15-16 year children are enrolled in school. Gross enrollment at the tertiary level has crossed 20%. The average female literacy in the country is at a national average of 65%. The male literacy is 82%. In 2011, 25% girls and 28 % boys dropped out of school at the primary level. 40% boys and 41% girls dropped out at elementary level. At the secondary level, 50% of boys and 47% girls dropped out (India Report, 2012)

2.8 Population distribution 72% of the Indian population lives in the rural areas. The remaining 28% lives in the urban areas. 38 % of the population is in the age group of 0-14 years. The majority of the population which comprises of 64% is in the age group of 15-64 years. 5% of the population comprises of the senior citizens (India Report, 2012). India is diverse country that is developing at a fast pace. But, there are numerous challenges before it like poverty, over- population, unequal distribution of resources, corruption, terrorism, unemployment and inaccessibility of resources to the underserved. These challenges are delaying the development of the country. In spite of the efforts of the government, there is still a long way to go to become a healthy place for healthy living.

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