2018 in Public Health: Big initiatives, vaccination drives and newborn screening

The world is moving towards universal health coverage programs & 2018 saw early signs of India's own.

In 2018, India witnessed some big advances towards better access to affordable primary healthcare, specifically, rural healthcare programs.

Ayushman Bharat

One of the largest government-funded schemes – Ayushman Bharat under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojna, was launched this year. Ayushman Bharat is one of the biggest people-centric schemes ever launched in our country.

As the world is gearing towards the achievement of Universal Health coverage and countries are working towards the Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH+A) programme, several practices and innovations are implemented by states, union territories and organisations to address challenges in the maternal and child health sector.

The country's progress in this regard can be gauged from the 77 percent decline in MMR that it achieved between 1990 and 2015, while the global decline was 44 percent during the same period.

2018 in Public Health: Big initiatives, vaccination drives and newborn screening

An eligibility chart for the Ayushman Bharath program via Factly.in

Vaccinations

Mission Indradhanush, is one of the most important interventions for the protection of children from life-threatening conditions such as polio, measles, pneumonia has been working successfully by providing vaccination.

All these efforts are heartening and are yielding good results and year-after-year multiple steps have been taken scale-up the immunisation efforts for maternal and child healthcare.

If the public health is strong, the preventive health of the nation will be strong. We as a nation need to commit ourselves to increase health spending. Most of the non-communicable diseases can be reduced/prevented if we further invest and strengthen our public health education system.

It is important that we continue to build public health awareness regarding the nuisances of dengue and public toilet systems/water logging, mosquito breeding places which will in return help in reducing the incidences of dengue in the country.

Vaccination drives ensure that both the mother's and childrens' health is unaffected by preventable infectious diseases. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Vaccination drives ensure that both the mother's and childrens' health is unaffected by preventable infectious diseases. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Newborn screening

Congenital heart screening for newborns & newborn screening for biochemical disorders is an important public health measure that needs the attention of policymakers over the coming years. If our newborn babies are screened for various disorders, our infant mortality and morbidity will reduce drastically. But there is no awareness about it at all.

Unless we improve our public health - we are not going to make huge progress towards better medical health of the population.

India needs to arrive at innovative financing models for better healthcare outcomes.

 

The author is the Chairman and Neonatologist at Cloudnine Group of Hospitals.

Here's a list of our other year-ender stories:

Year in review: India’s biggest achievements in the fields of science and medicine

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Find our entire collection of stories, in-depth analysis, live updates, videos & more on Chandrayaan 2 Moon Mission on our dedicated #Chandrayaan2TheMoon domain.

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