Praja Foundation Releases a White Paper on Mumbai's Health Scenario

Top Quote Guess which is Mumbai's unhealthiest ward. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) August 11, 2010 - Praja Foundation released a white paper on the city's health issues at a press conference today. The report focuses on the sensitive disease cases registered in the Municipal Dispensaries and the working of the Elected Representatives in the Public Health Committee from April 2008 to March 2010 in all 24 wards across Mumbai.

    The sensitive disease considered in that data are Diarrhoea, Hyper Tension, Malaria, Tuberculosis, Diabetes, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Dengue, Cholera and HIV. Praja has done a systemic study of Municipal health services all the civic wards of Mumbai to reveal some startling facts.

    The report highlights the number of sensitive disease cases registered in 158 civic dispensaries across Mumbai. In 2008-2009, K (East) - Andheri East - reported the maximum incidences of sensitive diseases. But in 2009-2010, Andheri (E) was pushed down by 4 other wards with far less population. In 2009-2010, L Ward (Kurla) reported the highest cases of sensitive diseases followed by F south (Parel), G south (Prabhadevi-Worli), K east (Andheri) and E (Kalbhadevi-Byculla-Mumbai Central). These same five wards seem to be consistent in reporting the highest number of cases of sensitive diseases over a two year period.

    Annually the Public Health Committee has 36 councilors. In 2 years (2008-2010) a total of 28 health committee meetings were held and 63 questions were asked in these meetings, maximum of them related to staff behaviour. The report shows that not a single question was raised about improving or enhancing health environment in the wards.

    "The results in this health issue white paper are revealing. By studying the information supplied to us through the RTI Act, we at Praja Foundation seek to arm elected representatives and citizens with pertinent information," says Nitai Mehta, Founder Trustee of Praja Foundation.

    "We hope that such reports are a motivator for the civic administration and a plausible change is in the near future," he adds.

    Mr. Mehta is particularly aggrieved at the lack of preventive and proactive measures by the civic custodians. "It's as if as a nation we are doomed only to react to disasters. Why is it that we are constantly fire-fighting? Why do we always try to shut the door after the horses have fled? Why can we not be proactive? Why should we not take preventive measures so that disasters are avoided in the first place?" Mr. Mehta argues.

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