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India's health in 2012: From the fight against polio to dismal malnutrition figures


Nikita, Shalini, CNN-IBN
Dec 27, 2012 at 03:29pm IST

Mumbai/New Delhi: As 2012 comes to an end, CNN-IBN takes a look at the key health issues of the year - from the fight against polio that India can take pride in to the dismal malnutrition figures that shame the nation.

Reports showed 10 lakh deaths from oral cancer every year and 80 per cent were due to chewable tobacco products. The implementation of the gutka ban in 14 states starting with Madhya Pradesh in March 2012, has been possibly the biggest public health breakthrough of 2012. The Health Ministry is now urging states to ban all chewable tobacco products like zarda and khaini.

Union Health Ministry Joint Secretary Shakuntala Gamlin said, "We are looking at a universal ban now, otherwise gutka is being smuggled from other states."

India's progress in the fight against polio has also got global recognition. Come January 2013, India will complete 2 years of being polio free.

Yet for every breakthrough, there's news of India failing miserably on some front. 48 per cent of India's children under five are malnourished and the country continues to have the highest maternal mortality rates, globally.

India has also been failing to protect its young from encephalitis, year after year. The toll across Uttar Pradesh in 2012 was nearly 600 deaths.

There is lack of movement on an antibiotic policy despite a task force created two years ago and the threat of superbugs, from NDM1 and to drug resistant TB. Here's hoping India has a more robust, healthier 2013.

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