Published in Central Chronicle, Bhopal
Adhir Kumar Saxena
Bhopal, Dec 30 : In the year gone by discussions on women and children of the state were dominated with the issues of maternal & infant mortality and malnutrition which was very right too. Madhya Pradesh has highest rates of malnutrition among children and infant mortality in India. Media, media advocacy groups, social activists and civil society networks did aggressively advocate on these issues in the state this year, probably which was right and had brought a positive turn within the civil society networks in the state. Well, as we end the year the latest National Family Health Survey III data reveals that 60 % of children in the state are malnourished. There has been an increase in the malnourishment rates in the state. Last survey held in the year 1998 - 99 pointed out that state had about 54 % children who were malnourished. There has been an increase of six percent in the years rather than a decrease. Just few days back Joint Commission of Enquiry set up by Supreme court commissioners pointed out one of the districts in Madhya Pradesh namely Sheopur as World's hotspot of malnutrition, which means that situation demand immediate action.
State did announce many new schemes and policies but somehow still has not made any mark on the situation. State still reports hunger deaths. Not only Sheopur but recently Badwani district reported hunger deaths too. Children die every day in the state. Women are dying - earlier it was at homes unnoticed now in hospitals and outside the hospital. Recent examples are Shivpuri, Gwalior, Bhind, Bhopal and at many other places.
Many districts of the state have low sex ratio. Bhind and Morena are the worst performing in this regard in the state. This year more than 60,000 thousands people got affected with Chikunguniya in the state while state shelved it as a fashion statement and ignored the pain people went through. Similarly were cases of dengue which came up and many deaths were reported due to dengue. State had floods this year, many died due to floods and others suffered after floods due to the infections, which came after.
State reported cases of polio after being polio free for some time now state reported three case of polio, an example of our low level of immunisation and how we are missing children not only during polio rounds but even during regular vaccination rounds. When we refer to health one cannot forget about the use of veterinary medicine on the humans being right in the hospital in the State capital!
Also to mention about state's website of health department which was underreporting the data on maternal and infant death? Though state has announced setting up of medical and Health University in the state, hope this happens... may help to serve as lifeline to people of the state in the coming year.
* 60% of children under three are malnourished.
* 27 women die every day due to complication within pregnancy or 42 days after pregnancy.
* 79 children die out of 1000 born before their first birthday.
* 60 % of children are not fully immunised.
* 40 % women are malnourished.