FROM A CORRESPONDENT
Ri-Bhoi (Meghalaya), Feb 16: Very often it is seen that inequalities in the social and economic status of men and women disproportiotely deprive women and children from good health. Health is an important factor that contributes to human wellbeing and economic growth. The slogan ‘promoting women’s health’ denotes the significance to fundamental human rights such as the Right to Education, the Right to Employment and Equal pay for work etc. According to a report published in Intertiol Jourl of Research and Development, the Health care scerio of the North Eastern Region, particularly of the rural areas, is not very encouraging.
Traditiol, unscientific methods of treatment are still found to exert tremendous influence in the life of people. Especially womenfolk’s of this region are also more likely to seek help from traditiol practitioners for treatment of Reproductive Tract Infections (RTIs) and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) etc. Local health traditions, ‘Dawai Kynbat’ in Khasi Hills and ‘Achiksam’ in Garo Hills are in fact practiced with a fairly good success all over the State till date. These practitioners enjoy a high degree of acceptance and respect and they consequently exert considerable influence on health beliefs and practices.
In this regard the general health conditions of women in the state of Meghalaya are drastically poor. The common ailments suffered by women are gastroenteritis, tuberculosis, malaria, anemia and general debility. It is common to see many women in the rural areas of the state having 8-10 children. Repeated and frequent pregncies have been detrimental to the health of women. There is a deep-rooted belief in having large families. The debility due to pregncies, extreme hard work and low nutritiol levels have paved the way for an alarming rise in tuberculosis in women.
As per the report the pathetic scerio of the region was primarily due to idequacy in Health Institutions and other Health Infrastructure, lack of Doctors and Health Assistants, shortage of medicines and other essential items. Apart from this the Geographic condition of the hilly states of this region is also not very congenial for the development of healthcare infrastructure in the rural areas.
Moreover, the healthcare services of North Eastern Region are predomintly urban based. Due to the absence of basic amenities like proper road communication, transportation, housing, accommodation, electricity, water supply, sanitation, social environment, etc. Doctors and Health Workers are reluctant to go to the rural areas. On the other hand, many of the rural people prefer to go for the traditiol method of treatment and as such, even when, health centers exist, people do not make full use of these centers.
However, there is an overall shortage of modern medical diagnostic and therapeutic aids, super special services, specialized Doctors etc. even in the existing institutions of the urban areas. Moreover, the few laboratories and ancillary diagnostic facilities that exist in some of the North Eastern States are fairly primitive.