Chandigarh,12 May:More than half of Indian children under the age of five do not get the health care they need, according to a recent report by Save the Children. It ranks India alongside Ghana when it comes to providing basic health care to its children less than five years of age. The annual report looks at whether developing countries are delivering health care effectively to children.
It found the Philippines was performing best with almost 69% of children able to get access to health care. Ethiopia ranks last – only 16% of children under five get health care when they need it. Although India has cut child its mortality rate by 34% since 1990, Indian girls are 61% more likely than boys to die between the ages of one and five. Inequity of health care among male and female children is responsible for this situation, the report says. The report says experts predict that over 60% of the nearly 10 million children who die every year could be saved by delivering basic health services through a health facility or community health worker.
Even Chandigarh – the City Beautiful with highest per capita income and highest literacy rate has a darker side too what about rest of the country. Recently a survey conducted on ‘Migration and Morbidity Pattern among Residents in Chandigarh Slums’ by the Department of Community Medicine, PGIMR along with the Department of Science and Technology, UT. Chandigarh, says that only 28 per cent of the migrant population can manage basic necessities like food, shelter and clothing.
There are 41 slums and colonies in the city, six were selected. In these, 600 families were interviewed. Over a third of the families had their per capita income between Rs 1,500 and Rs 2,000. Around 30 per cent had it between Rs 1,000 and Rs 1,500. As many as 135 were families below the poverty line. The literacy rate among them was 58.6 per cent.
The study reveals that around 80 per cent of the migrants are from UP and Bihar. Around 97 per cent of the slum migrants in Chandigarh come from rural areas. In the total migrant population, around 68 per cent belong to the scheduled castes, while 13.5 per cent are OBCs. Half the households have no toilet facilities, though as an upside, around 96 per cent had access to water. The more interesting is Municipal Corporation Chandigarh made Public Toilets in the slums and charges one rupee per day for each member of the family. If there are six members of the family they are paying around Rs. 200/- per month for morning natural call.
Commonly reported problems were fever, abdominal pain, cough and diahorrea. The commonest chronic morbidities in the group are hypertension, followed by anaemia and TB. The number of females with chronic morbidities was 37.4 per cent, compared to 21.7 per cent in males. Though around 90 per cent people knew about availability of health care services, only 78 per cent of those who fell ill utilised them, they prefer to visit quacks and faith healers. Usually for Jaundice they prefer treatment from Ojha (faith healer).
The great matter of concern was that the most of students going to school is without morning meals and parents give them little money to eat food (junk) at school canteen or food venders near school gate.
Liquor vends hardly 50 meters from the premises of Government High School, Mauli Jagran, a slum in Chandigarh and state is not concerned with the Child Rights. NGOs and Social Activists have reported that students, especially boys of higher classes, are getting into alcohol abuse as well as other abuses like smoking, tobacco chewing, fluid sniffing etc. Think the money for food is utilize on what? Talking to The India Post, a man working at the vend admitted that the school students both boys and girls do come to the vend to buy alcohol pretty often.
Mr. Ashwani Kumar, Family Planning Association of India and works for MSM in the area, shared that the children from slum areas and those who are involved in begging rag-picking, stealing goods, even male commercial sex workers (what ever thy earn from these activities) are common visitors at the liquor vend. Whatever they earn in the day, they spend on liquor. Even the guardians gave overdose of expectorants to children so that they complete their household activates without any disturbance.
As per the statute, no liquor and tobacco shop is permitted in the area of 50 meters from the main gate of a place of worship, educational institution and a place of public entertainment according to Law in City Beautiful., but then who cares. This is a new kind of role of state for the welfare of the citizens and migrants live in there own country without social security and public health support.
People also migrated to the city for better education because city beautiful is also known as educational city. Recently the news report about a large number of failures in a particular subject in class VIII conducted by Chandigarh U.T. Board is a mater of grave concern. It appears that some school teachers, who was not well-versed with the syllabus in particular subject, was assigned to set the question papers. This caused misery to parents.
Coordination between different organs badly needed. We need to do a better job of reaching the poorest children with basic health measures like vaccines, antibiotics and skilled health care providers to protect their Child Rights.