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Question 19

Describe the meaning of public health. Discuss the major public health measures undertaken by the state in recent years to control diseases.

Answer

Public health refers to the act of protecting the public's health through education, research and development and promotion of healthy lifestyle. It aims at the improvement and well being of the people around the globe. It focuses on the protection and improvement of health of the entire population rather than individuals. In recent years, India has embarked upon the development of vast infrastructure. At the village level, a variety of hospitals were set up by the name of Primary Health Centres (PHCs). The large number of hospitals is run by various voluntary agencies and by the private sector. The hospitals are managed by professionals and by Para Medical professionals trained in medical, pharmacy and nursing colleges. There has been a significant expansion in the provision of health services. The number of hospitals and dispensaries has increased from 9300 to 43300 and hospital beds from 1.2 to 7.2 million during 1951 to 2000. Also, nursing personnel has increased from 0.18 to 8.7 lakh and allopathic doctors from 0.62 to 5 lakhs during the same period. The provision of various facilities has resulted in the eradication of smallpox, polio, leprosy, and other deadly diseases.

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