JK gets better healthcare report card
But Experts Say Lifestyle Diseases A Major Threat
Srinagar, Jan 15: A state often characterized with poor healthcare system, Jammu and Kashmir has got an impressive report card of various health indicators, apparently reflecting betterment in the system. But the experts don’t make much of the figures citing “increase in diseased population” as the reason.
The latest countrywide stats released by the Sample Registration System, Government of India, for the year 2008 shows improvement in various life indicators like infant mortality rate, birth rate, growth rate and the death rate.
The SRS report, which is compiled annually to keep track of the health condition across the country, is the latest brought out by the centre in October 2009. And the figures show J&K at par with most and even better than some developed states.
The report shows infant mortality rate, which is considered most important indicator of society’s performance in the health sector, reflects an improvement of around three per cent. It reveals of every thousand live births only 49 newborns died before their first birthday in 2008, a decline from 51 deaths per thousand births in 2007. The infant mortality rate among both rural and urban populace has come down, the former by four points from 53 to 51 and the latter from 38 to 37.
The number of deaths per thousand of population has neither increased nor gone down. The overall death rate in the state has stayed at 5.8 while the stats for rural and urban populations haven’t changed either. The ratings are only the second lowest among the bigger states of the country after Delhi’s 4.8 and it is far behind the national average of 7.4.
The other health indicators are also showing improvement in the healthcare system in the state. The birth rate and natural growth rate both have come down from 2007 which are indications of an effectively working healthcare system.
The overall birth rate in the state has improved from 19.0 to 18.8 which reveals the birth control measures, considered indicators of a healthy system, have been working effectively. The natural growth rate is also showing a downward trend coming down from previous 13.2 to current 13.1.
Not making much of the SRS stats, experts say though the healthcare system might have improved but it would have to face new challenges due to increasing life style diseases. They say the morbidity indicators may show accumulating population with wide spectrum of lifestyle diseases like hypertension, heart diseases, diabetes, obesity, mental disorders and cancers, especially with increasing life expectancy.
“The health indicators are getting bigger due to increased health awareness among the populace. But at the same time we are having more incidences of life style diseases like cardiac ailments, hypertensions, diabetes and others which is gong to be more challenging for the health care system,” said Dr Muhammad Salim Khan of Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Government Medical College Srinagar.
“The diseased population in the state is increasing which shall be a matter of concern for all of us. Most lifestyle diseases don’t kill patients overnight but they remain with the person and grow with age,” he added.
Renowned cardiologist and Professor and Head, Department of Cardiology at SK Institute of Medical Sciences, Dr Khursheed Iqbal sees lifestyle disease as a challenge to healthcare system for next two decades.
“Earlier people would die of disease but now the lifestyle diseases have entered into our populace due to our changing lifestyles. Such diseases remain with the patient and increase with age and it will rise in coming two decades,” he said.
The problem, Dr Iqbal said, was complicated by lack of state of the art healthcare facilities in developing countries.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 15 Jan 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 15 Jan 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 16 Jan 2010 00:00:00 IST
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