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Progress of Health Services in India after Independence


Read this article to learn about the progress of Health Services in India after Independence!

After the implementation of economic planning a lot of progress has been made in health services in India after Independence.

The following points explain the progress of health services:


1. General services:

Basic infrastructure in the form of primary health care services, has been provided in urban and rural areas. Primary health care services include material and child health care services and family welfare services. Specialised health care services are provided through hospitals in urban areas.

The following table shows the growth of health infrastructure in India during the last 50 years:

Devlopment of Health Service in India

The table given above shows the picture of health infrastructure in India since 1951. It shows that number of doctors has increased by nine times. But due to the growth of population the average number of doctors per ten thousand population has increased only by three times.


Hospital beds per ten thousand population has increased from 3.2 to 9.3. (1950-51 to 1999-2000). No. of hospitals and dispensaries has increased by more than 7 times. The number of para medical workers has increased many times. In 1950-51, there were 725 Primary Health Centres and in 1999, these rose to 22,446.

With the above said growth in health infrastructure the death rate per thousand population has declined from 27.4 in 1951 to 8.7 in 2000. Similarly Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) has declined from 183 per thousand to 70 per thousand in 2000. The life expectancy of an average Indian was 33 years in 1951 which increased to 63.5 years in 2001. Similarly birth rate has declined from 39.9 per thousand in 1951 to 26.1 per thousand in 2000. Communicable diseases has been controlled to a considerable extent.

2. Control of Communicable Diseases:


To control communicable diseases like Malaria, Tuberculosis and AIDS etc. many national programmes have started.

A few of them are discussed below:

(а) Malaria:

Malaria was killing 10 lakh people every year at the time of independence. National Malaria Eradication Programme was started in 1958. It is a biggest health programme against a single disease. As a result of this the number of deaths due to Malaria declined. The disease is still existing in the country and effective efforts are still required to eradicate this disease.

(b) Small Pox:

Small pox was a deadly disease. India had eradicated this disease from the country since April 1977. It was a big achievement of health care programme.

(c) Tuberculosis:

It is commonly called TB. To control TB, National TB Control Programme was started in 1955. A number of TB hospitals have been opened across the country. Revised National Tuberculsis Control Programme was launched from April 1977. District T.B. centres are functioning in 446 districts of the country.

(d) Leprosy:


Leprosy is another communicable disease which is prevalent in the country. India has highest number of leprosy patients in the world. There were nearly 20 lakh leprosy patients in India in 1990-91. National leprosy control programme was started in 1955. In 1983, the programme was renamed as National Leprosy Eradication Programme. The programme aims at eliminating leprosy from the country.

(e) AIDS:

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is one of the most dangerous disease. In India, it is spreading fast. In 1987, National AIDS Control Programme had been launched in 1987. Upto 1990-91, 29 Zonal Blood testing centres had been established. People are being made conscious about AIDS through mass mania.

At National level, National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) has been established. In Orissa State Orissa AIDS Cell (OAC) has been established by State Govt. OAC has started many projects including making people conscious about the evils of AIDS, identification of AIDS patients and helping people to take preventive measures and lost to shun fears from the minds of people.


8 Non-Govt. Organisations (NGO’s) are working to bring awareness among people living in slums, labour colonies and especially among truck drivers who are main victims of this disease. OAC is the first in the country to have HIV-AIDS Task Force. Three medical colleges in the State have opened free blood testing units.

(f) Polio:

Pulse Polio Programme (Triple P) has been launched in India to eradicate polio. People gave tremendous response to this programme. To immunise the children from this deadly disease, the anti polio drops are given to children below the age of 5 years.

(g) Goitre Control Programme:


This disease is quite common in India. About 14.5 crore people are patients of this disease. To control this disease, iodized salt is provided to people and awareness among people is created through mass media to use iodized salt.

3. Maternal and Child Health Services:

Maternal and child health services are provided to people in rural and urban area through existing health infrastructure. The services include prenatal and postnatal care, immunisation and oral rehybration therapy to fight against diarrhoea. One of the important programme is Universal Immunisation Programme. Under this programme vaccination is provided against diphtheria, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis and measles etc.

4. Traditional system of Medicine:


The four traditional system of medicine like Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani and Homeopathy are made popular to serve humanity. Each system has a Central Council and an attached Research Council. Ayurvedic and Homeopathy colleges, hospitals and dispensaries have been established in all States. These medicines are cheap. A common man can purchase these.

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