Our urban planning needs to get aggressive to ensure scope for adequate physical exercise for our population. From seamless transit, which ensures an adequate step count daily, to offices and buildings designed to avoid long term sitting, a vision needs to be set in place to prevent diseases like diabetes and obesity becoming an epidemic, says Dr Tejaswi Naik, Director-Budget, Government of Madhya Pradesh, in an exclusive interview to Souvik Goswami of Elets News Network (ENN).
Q What is the mandate of your department?
We manage the finances of the State, keeping a tab on the income, expenditure, debt and liabilities while guiding the Government on fiscal matters and presenting the facts before the House as and when asked for.
Q You have worked extensively in the health domain as the Collector of Barwani district. What challenges have you observed to improve the State’s healthcare sector and how can these challenges be addressed?
Madhya Pradesh’s HDI/health parameters have shown a considerable jump in last few years. But still, a Herculean effort, which is focused in nature, is required to correct the scenario which is historical, socio-economic as well as geographical in nature.
It has been 10 years at least since the flagship schemes like NRHM, JNNURM, MGNREGS have been implemented. It is now time to do an impact assessment and do course correction wherever required.
While implementing the schemes at the grassroots level, this gap was thoroughly felt, though one could also appreciate the huge stride ahead taken by these schemes.
It is here that one notices gap (the slips) between the cup and the lip. For, we have carried out the implementation part for the past few years, but still we are not there in the parameters where we wanted to be. We may claim to have put on ground sub centres and ambulances and stuff on ground as per the norms, but are yet to achieve the actual figures that matter, let’s say, an acceptable rate of MMR, 100% institutional delivery and immunisation. And this is not the Health Department’s domain alone. This final push requires a multidepartmental convergence.
Barwani was and remains to be one of the toughest areas to bring about a change as it is placed with one of the highest IMRs nationally, low immunisation levels, abysmal institutional delivery rate, equally troubling malnutrition prevalence, compounded by the ritualistic seasonal migration and a tough terrain.
One should realise that one has to work incrementally and according to a plan if one has to bring about the change in the above parameters. It can’t happen overnight. Morale building amongst the field staff and quick achievable targets were identified to start with as part of a larger plan. Immunisation saturation in an area where families were missing for half the year and each lived atop a hillock required innovation like Green Commando and a lot of back office planning.
The results have encouraged the district to be aggressive in the newly launched Aspirational district programme, which touches upon the achievement of all the above parameters but in a specific time frame.
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