|Health for the rural poor......
Despite several growth-oriented policies adopted by the government, the widening economic, regional
and gender disparities are posing challenges for the health sector. About 75 per cent of health
infrastructure, medical manpower and other health resources are concentrated in urban areas where only
27 per cent of the population lives. Contagious, infectious and waterborne diseases, such as diarrhoea,
amoebiasis, typhoid, infectious hepatitis, worm infestations, measles, malaria, tuberculosis, whooping
cough, respiratory infections, pneumonia and reproductive tract infections, dominate the morbidity
pattern, especially in rural areas. However, non-communicable diseases, such as cancer, blindness, mental
illness, hypertension, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, accidents and injuries, are also on the rise. The health status of
Indians, especially that of the rural population, is still a cause for grave concern. This is reflected in the
life expectancy (65 years), infant mortality rate (55/1,000 live births) and maternal mortality rate
(438/100,000 live births). However, over a period of time, considerable progress has been made. To
improve the prevailing situation, the problem of rural health has to be addressed both at the macro
(national and state) and micro (district and regional) levels.
SAPNA is into the following public health initiatives :