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India lagging behind other developing countries in achieving health goals, says Niti Aayog

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

According to a recent paper prepared by Niti Aayog, India’s progress in health outcomes during the last two decades have been slower as compared to other developing countries with comparable income.

The paper titled ‘Health Systems in India: Bridging the Gap between Current Performance and Potential,’ also highlights the crucial loopholes in India’s healthcare system. Achievements under various health indicators during last two decades of India and other countries like China, Bangladesh, Nepal and Vietnam were compared. In most of the parameters, India stood at the bottom of the table as compared to other countries.

As reported by TOI, the paper stated, “Despite impressive gains in per capita income, India’s Human Development Index rank has stagnated since 2008, having risen by only 1 unit. In comparison to Nepal, which has risen by 4 units and Bangladesh which have risen by 2 units.”

It also says that countries like China and Bangladesh have fared much better compared to India in terms of dealing with infectious diseases like tuberculosis and measles. In India, mortality due to tuberculosis has come down by 43.6% from 2000 to 2012, whereas in China deaths from the disease, during the same period, has dropped by 63.1%. In fact, India is also dealing with increasing problems of drug resistant tuberculosis.

India’s progress in reducing IMR and MMR has also been much lower than that of countries like Cambodia, Nepal, Bangladesh, and others, which are at a similar stage of development and have comparable incomes, the paper said.

There is also a huge difference between the health outcomes of the states.

“States like Tamil Nadu have extremely strong health systems founded in primary care and public health. The challenge is to replicate such successes all over the country,” the paper stated.

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Ebola-Stricken Congo Suffers From A Rebel Attack

The latest Ebola outbreak, which causes hemorrhagic fever, vomiting and diarrhea, is believed to have killed 99 people since July and infected another 48.

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Ebola, congo
The violence "will have a considerable impact on the whole response to Ebola," a local public health official told Reuters on condition of anonymity. VOA

At least 14 civilians were killed on Saturday in a six-hour attack by rebels on the town of Beni in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, local officials told Reuters, warning the unrest may hamper efforts to quash an Ebola epidemic in the area.

The latest outbreak of the deadly disease has been focused in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, which have been a tinder box of armed rebellion and ethnic killing since two civil wars in the late 1990s.

Militants believed to belong to the Allied Democratic Forces, a Ugandan Islamist group active in eastern Congo, clashed with Congolese troops in Beni, a town of several hundred thousand people, local civil society leader Kizito Bin Hangi said by telephone.

“Beni is ungovernable this morning. Several protests have been declared in the town where the people express their anger with consternation,” he said.

Ebola, UNICEF. congo
A boy runs past a dispenser containing water mixed with disinfectant, east of Mbandaka, DRC. VOA

In addition to the known fatalities, dozens of civilians were wounded as they fled the violence, which broke out in the early hours of Saturday evening and lasted until midnight, Bin Hangi added.

A spokesman for the army declined immediate comment.

The attack underscores the challenges the government and health organizations face in tackling Ebola in an area where years of instability has undermined locals’ confidence in the authorities.

The violence “will have a considerable impact on the whole response to Ebola,” a local public health official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

“The general hospital which houses one of the Ebola treatment centers was the focus of angry protests this morning.

Ebola, Congo
Little 11-year-old German Umba, whose father died in May of Ebola and who is being monitored by the U.N. for potential signs of infection along with her 6-year-old brother, hides her face in her shirt, sobbing, outside her classroom in Mbandaka, Congo. VOA

This is a normal reaction for a community that is bereaved for the umpteenth time,” the official said.

Also Read: Ebola Increases The Number of Orphans in DRC: UNICEF

The latest Ebola outbreak, which causes hemorrhagic fever, vomiting and diarrhea, is believed to have killed 99 people since July and infected another 48. (VOA)

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