Our children are our future. But what are some of the gravest challenges to children’s health in India? Lack of sanitation … water issues, food, environmental problems?
India even with their leap and advancements in the tech industry are still struggling in managing health especially with regards to their children. One of the reasons behind this is that in India, 84% of all health care expenditure is out of the pocket. High health expenses places huge number of families at risk of falling into poverty. As such, malnourishment becomes something that millions of children in India are at risk with. Furthermore, children with mental issues are not given the necessary attention especially since there are little to no services of programmes that revolve around them. In addition, children with disabilities and mental disorders are stigmatized and hence have little access to health facilities. Something like auditory processing can be a struggle that a lot of parents in India face.
Another thing to note is that when compared to the world, India actually ranks as one with the poorest health records along with the highest TB prevalence. Polio eradication is actually backsliding and every three out of four children have anaemia. Health indicators differ greatly across the country with varying social sector budget. Its mental health budget stays at 1% of the total health budget.
Two million children die every year from diseases that could have been prevented according to UNICEF India. Even though prospects for India’s children seem to be improving, there is still a lot more that needs to be done as it still lags behind the world. During infancy, less than 50% of children receive full immunization and this number has been dropping over the years.
One of the main problems with regards to children’s health in India can be attributed poor sanitation. Despite longstanding efforts by the various levels of education government and communities at improving coverage, drinking water supply and sanitation in India continues to be insufficient. As such, the lack of adequate sanitation and clean water result to significant negative health impacts that affected both children and adults alike. In fact, diarrhea is experienced by about 10 million visitors annually.
Despite the efforts of the government behind its mass toilet-building programme, there are millions of Indians who continue to defecate in the open despite having a household toilet. This is mostly found in the rural areas of India where people find going outdoors to be much more comfortable and this resulted to the rejection of new latrines making them mostly unused. This in turn lead to children becoming highly exposed to a bacterial brew which makes them sick resulting to them unable to attain a healthy body weight no matter how much food they eat.
Children’s health in India is indeed something that needs to be addressed. There is more that needs to be done and the government will not be able to fix the problem on their own and they need to work hand in hand with the community and share with the efforts in providing a safe and clean environment that benefit everyone and mostly the children. It is also important to help them realize how their old ways and practices are affecting and holding their growth and development.