ON THE CARDS
mixed. But first, some context:
The last national census (2011) pegged Rajasthan’s population at about 68 million, with 75 per cent classified as ‘rural’. The birth rate was in the region of 25 babies per 1,000 people. Put another way, about 1.7 million babies were born in Rajasthan in 2011. Unlike urban populations, village folk are almost entirely dependent on the government for basic medical services such as pre- and post-natal care for new mothers and their babies, and in Rajasthan, the outlook is quite grim. National Health Mission (NHM) data suggests that the ‘infant mortality rate’ in the state was 47 per 1,000 births in
PATIENTS AWAIT THEIR TURN AT A FREE MOBILE PATHOLOGICAL LAB IN KUNDLI NADI VILLAGE, SAWAI MADHOPUR
Rajasthan’s primary health sector may be on the mend. Is chief minister Vasundhara Raje’s PPP gamble paying off? 2013. (That translates to about 80,000 dead babies that year). For reference, in Germany—which is just a shade larger than Rajasthan, both in terms of land and population—the comparative number was 3.3 per 1,000 births.
In India, the public health system for rural populations has three tiers. The first point of contact is known as a sub-centre (SC), which is responsible for maternal and child health, among other things. For every six SCs, there is one public health centre (PHC), which serves as a four- to six-bed ‘mini hospital’, and for every four PHCs, there is one community health centre (CHC), which is a 30-bed hospital. Under NHM