India's per capita expenditure on health research is less than $1 and, only 3% of this is spent on public health research.But India must invest more on research if the country wants to focus on solving health related issues and cut its dependence on imported drugs and technology. Finances are needed and are crucial in order to conduct world-class but lack of research in turn affects public health.
According to the latest figures released by NHFS-4, the infant mortality has halved since 1992. The figures above reflects the number of deaths per thousand live births as per NFHS-1,2,3 and 4. India has cut the rate of child deaths almost by one half. Better immunisation rates and public health campaigns contributed to overall improvement and decline in numbers but India is still way off the mark in achieving MDG target of 27.
Every day we bring you the latest and a wide range of data, covering Indian healthcare, hospitals, medical technology, infrastructure, investments and pharmaceutical industry, and more.
By : Jisha Krishnan
Health Minister J.P. Nadda called the new National Health Policy a huge milestone in India’s history of health sector. The new policy has touched upon varied pertinent issues – from ‘Make in India’ for drugs and medical devices to making health, yoga and hygiene a part of the school curriculum; from raising the public health budget to establishment of National Digital Health Authority.
By : Sidrah Naiyer
Millions of youth today are mentally weak, more fearful, less resilient and more overwhelmed than their parents were when they were growing up. Anxiety and depression among youth is on the rise. In a study conducted in Chennai, it was found that 88% of people who committed suicide had diagnosable mental disorders but only 10% had seen a mental health professional.
By : Abraar Karan
Research is a fundamental part of medical education and it absolutely should be—the benefits of research in medical care couldn’t be overstated. However, while medical students are constantly encouraged to publish academic work, they are rarely instilled with the value of what the potential impact of that work could be.
Human resources in rural areas is a major issue across India. Primary Health Centre (PHCs) are state-owned rural health care facilities in India. They are essentially single-physician clinics. Of 1482 sanctioned posts in PHC's, 9,389 remain vacant. Govt has announced creation of 5000 additional seats every year to fill in the doc patient ratio in India. But will it help filling a huge dearth of doctors in rural areas as well? Most reports and evaluation studies point to lack of equipment,improper functioning and or lack of facilities in India's hinterland. So not just producing more doctors but strengthening infrastructure can help attract, retain and ensure regular presence of medical professionals in rural areas.
Vector borne diseases are spread through insects like mosquitoes. A key focus of the healthcare agenda for 2017 should focus on vector borne diseases. More than a million people are affected by Malaria as per latest records. Data reveals that dengue cases more than doubled between 2014 and 2015 and are continously increasing. Total 40,571 cases were reported in 2014 that increased to 99,913 in 2015. While 137 people died in 2014, 220 died in 2015 and 227 in 2016. Chikungunya and Japanese encephalitis are other deadly diseases which are spread through mosquito bites. Today, vector-borne diseases are one of the biggest threats to India's public health.
Though, India tops the list with maximum number of anaemic women and children in the world. Nine states are the worst sufferers. The nine states in India houses 50% of anaemic women. Half of the women in AP, Bihar, West Bengal, Haryana, MP besides others are suffering from iron deficiency leading to anaemia. It is rampant among children below the age of three and pregnant women. Poverty and malnutrition remains a major challenge in tackling anaemia besides poor sanitation and unhygienic living conditions.
Maharashtra has seen the highest number of swine flu cases in the year 2015 but the number declined to 80 in 2016. As few as 80 cases of swine flu and 25 deaths were reported till October 2016. As per officials more than a lakh doses of vaccine against H1N1 virus was procured in 2015 but the procuremnet decreased in 2016 as there were few cases. But more than 50 cases and 13 deaths have been reported in early 2017 pointing to a surge in number of cases as compared to 2016.
Health Analytics India (HAI) is a data journalism initiative dedicated to provide the most illuminating reporting on healthcare. We’re not going to blindly accept the data, but we’re not going to be blind to it either. We’ll crunch the numbers, investigate the issues behind the numbers and turn them into fact and figure based stories that matter to the people. Our aim is to make HAI a single-point source of healthcare data and information in India.Syed Nazakat, Editor-in-Chief of Health Analytics India
Journalists reporting on traumatic situations and disease such as Ebola, cholera, or HIV-Aids need to develop specialist skills for such work. Their tool kit needs to include techniques such as empathy, less talking - more listening, and a critical need to get the facts right.Cait McMahon PhD, is a managing director of Dart Centre Asia Pacific, with headquarters in Melbourne, Australia
The year 2015 would be the year of change. We’re putting extra effort to streamline our regulatory procedures without compromising on patient safety. We’re strengthening our drug regulatory system as well. Today India is a world leader in pharmaceutical industry and we supply drugs to 218 countries. My duty as the chief regulator is to ensure quality, safety and efficacy of drugs.Dr. G.N.Singh, Drug Controller General of India
When I was the Director General of CSIR, we had started a public–private partnership called New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative, which was directed exclusively towards affordable excellence. That was a game-changer. We need to launch national grand challenges for vaccines to therapeutics to tablets. We did make the US$ 35 Akash tablet, after all.R.A. Mashelkar, noted Scientist and innovator who holds a long list of directorships, degrees and awards, all focused on advancing science and inclusive innovation in India.
At the highest levels of competition, where skill, physical abilities and tactics remain optimum and at par with opponents, it is the sports medicine back up which makes the difference between the winner and loser.Dr P S M Chandran is the President of Indian Federation of Sports Medicine
Telling the Ebola story with data is a challenging task, how to paint a picture of numbers that inform about the seriousness while neither underplaying [and] nor being alarmist? There has been problematic data reporting…but there’s been solid data journalism too.Sharron Lovell is a multimedia storyteller and educator. She is based in Beijing and lectures on multimedia journalism.
The essential drug list becomes more relevant when the drug market is flooded with many nonessential, irrational drugs for which safer, equally effective & cheaper essential alternatives exist.Dr Mira Shiva, MD, is one of the leading voices of public health in India and coordinator at the Initiative for Health & Equity in Society.
"Public health in Bihar has been a byword for maladies and diseases. But someone rightly said that “who has health, has hope; and who has hope, has everything” and proved true in case of Bihar’s public health structure. In the past few years, the state has ascertained a remarkable progress in the healthcare sector with some of the biggest falls in child mortality."Nabeela Khan Inayati, Assistant Editor, Health Analytics India
"If we look at the cancer crisis closely, there is nothing like a new pattern of cancer, but the type of cancer which is predominant in an area keeps changing. It changes every ten years. For instance, earlier, the common cancer in America was tobacco related but that has changed now because the awareness has increased."Dr. Sameer Kaul, surgical oncologist & Founder, President of Breast Cancer Patients Benefit Foundation.
"HIV/AIDS, since it was recognised in the early 1980s, has been a critical health issue for women and men as the epidemic continues to undermine development efforts worldwide and mostly afflict populations already beset by extreme poverty. HIV/AIDS has been particularly noted to affect the working population and prevent women and men from making meaningful contributions to development and improvement of families while at the household level, the epidemic increases the burden of care and erodes savings."Ruby Leo, correspondent, Daily Trust.
"India provides low cost drugs not only to its citizens but also to most developing countries. Hence, the measures to control prices of drugs must be matched with those to safeguard our sovereignty in drug manufacturing, whether by public or private companies. It is this that will finally result in availability of drugs at affordable prices and will ensure that we move forward towards Universal Health Assurance."Mirai Chatterjee, Director, Social Security Team, Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA).
It’s commendable that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is making efforts to be more data-driven by providing district-level estimates for the first time with NFHS-4, there are still loopholes that need to be plugged.Jisha Krishnan, Journalist
If India needs to create a health system that is accessible, equitable and technology advanced, the use of data cannot be ignored. Need for collaboration to achieve this ambition is even more critical.Dr. Karan Thakur, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals