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Health and Sanitation : A Long Way to Go

Good hygiene, adequate sanitation and safe water are fundamental to good health.

India holds an unpleasant reputation of being the capital of many dreaded diseases like drug-resistant TB, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes, mainly due to malnutrition attributable to poor hygiene, and for the lack of adequate food. While there has been always a clamor for establishing medical colleges and hospitals to tackle health issues, but the most fundamental issue is ignored. The importance of sanitation in bringing down levels of malnutrition is undeniable. Whereas Integrated Child Development Centre workers can play a fundamental role in spreading awareness about nutrition and sanitation in the rural parts of India. They should be made responsible to local bodies and asked to maintain a record of health cards of villagers.

Providing enough nutritious food to children afflicted with ailments caused by poor sanitation is akin to filling loopholes. Health care certainly deserves better attention and it should include potable water, modern drainage, and sewerage systems, and waste disposal plants.

Educating the younger generation about personal hygiene by making it a part of a school curriculum can go a long way. Malnutrition can be effectively addressed through a two-pronged approach of ensuring sufficient access to nutritious food and also by addressing public health concerns.

Along with health and sanitation environmental sanitation is another major public health issue in India.

Environmental sanitation encompasses promotion of health of the community by providing a neat and clean environment and also by breaking the cycle of disease. Newer strategies and targeted interventions will effectively deal with environment-related health problems.

A maximum number of diseases resulting from sanitation have a direct relation to poverty. Lack of clean water and poor sanitation causes and spread many diseases. It is estimated that inadequate sanitation is responsible for 4.0 percent of deaths and 5.7 percent of disease burden worldwide.

 

About the author

Kristi Borah