Friday, September 23, 2016

Malaria, hygiene "lower" India's world health ranking to 143rd position, worst among BRICS nations: Top study

Bill and Melinda Gates 
By Our Representative
A Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-sponsored study has ranked India 143rd among 188 countries across the globe in health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) index, below Comoros and Ghana. Published in the well-known international journal “Lancet”, the study says, the poor showing of India is there “despite rapid economic growth.”
Titled “Measuring the health-related Sustainable Development Goals in 188 countries: a baseline analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015”, the study says, on a scale of 100, the average index of all 188 countries is found to be 59∙3.
While India's overall score is 42 out of 100, India is particularly found to be extremely poor performer such counts such as malaria (10 out of 100) and hygiene (8 out of 100). Other areas where India performs poorly are maternal mortality rate (28 out of 100), neo-natal mortality rate (28 out of 100), air pollution (31 out of 100), sanitation (26 out of 100), and occupational risk burden (34 out of 100).
The top-ranking country, with an index of 85.5, is Iceland, followed by Singapore (85∙3) and Sweden (85∙3). Among the lowest ranking are Central African Republic (20∙4), Somalia (21∙6), and South Sudan (22∙5).
Other peer countries of BRICS (acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) rank considerably better than India: Brazil ranks 90th, Russia 119th, China 92nd, and South Africa (134th). South Africa’s relatively lower performance is caused by “childhood overweight, harmful alcohol use, and mortality due to self-harm and interpersonal violence”, the study says.
Among neighbours, while Sri Lanka performs far better than India, ranking 79th, but Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal rank worse, at 149th, 151st and 158th respectively.
The study, interestingly, singles out two countries, whose index “patterns” were found to be “contrary to what might have been expected. One of them is the USA (74∙9), which ranks ranked 28th, which the study says is “driven by poorer performance on MDG indicators (eg, maternal mortality ratio) than other high-income countries.
The study says, the USA is the “worse performance on non-MDG indicators—most notably, alcohol consumption, childhood overweight, and mortality due to interpersonal violence, self-harm, and unintentional poisoning.”
The other country the study singles out is India, whose index is calculated to be 41∙7 on a scale of 100, much below the world average. The study comments, the low rating is there “despite rapid economic growth”, ranking the country “143rd, just below Comoros and Ghana.”
Published ahead of the first anniversary of the UN General Assembly passing a resolution on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), falling on September 25, in which 17 universal goals, 169 targets, and 230 indicators leading up to 2030, were worked out, the study says, “We provide an analysis of 33 health-related SDG indicators based on the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors.”
Its method includes relations between the Socio-demographic Index (SDI, a summary measure based on average income per person, educational attainment, and total fertility rate) and each of the health-related SDG indicators and indices.
“Between 2000 and 2015”, the study states, there was “pronounced progress occurred for indicators such as met need with modern contraception, under-5 mortality, and neonatal mortality, as well as the indicator for universal health coverage tracer interventions.”
It further says, “Moderate improvements were found for indicators such as HIV and tuberculosis incidence, minimal changes for hepatitis B incidence took place, and childhood overweight considerably worsened.”
The study claims, “Our analysis not only highlights the importance of income, education, and fertility as drivers of health improvement but also emphasises that investments in these areas alone will not be sufficient. Although considerable progress on the health-related indicators has been made, these gains will need to be sustained and, in many cases, accelerated to achieve the ambitious SDG targets.”

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