Health and happiness designate distinct life experiences, whose relationship is neither mutually inclusive nor exclusive in nature. Failure to adhere to health needs cause disturbance in happiness. However minimal may be the health need or problem it may cause friction in the happiness quotient. World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Conversely the definition of health ‘a state of complete physical mental and social well-being’ corresponds not only to the well being of the individual but also to happiness levels. To attain this echelon of health with happiness WHO earmarked 7th April as International World Health Day, which draws attention globally towards specific health issues existing and percolating in the system.
Past few decades have witnessed certain initiatives at various National & International health forums, which were otherwise never given much importance. Few of these diverse range of health concerns included Mental health which initiated and lead to the commencement of the National Mental Health Program in India(NRHM 2013).
This years WHO theme is Vector Borne Diseases- particularly Malaria. According to the WHO epidemiology report of 2013 there were approx. 207 million cases of malaria and an estimate of 627,000 malarial deaths reported. This is indicative of the fact that despite considerable advances in terms of prevention & control measures, there is still lot to be achieved in order to reduce and control the spread of the disease.
Other Vector Borne diseases also show an alarming rise in the incidence rates but malaria continues to constitutes the major section). Trends show a geographical change in the disease spread is moving beyond traditional boundaries, thereby calling for action that is not restricted to specific countries. Other vectors such as snails, tapeworms act as a carrier of virulent viruses, bacteria and protozoan which cause illness together with the mortality.
According to The Lancet report on 20th November 2010 malaria causes 205,000 malaria deaths per year in India before 70 years of age (55,000 in early childhood, 30,000 at ages 5—14 years, 120,000 at ages 15—69 years) with a 1·8% cumulative probability of death from malaria before age 70 years. The report also states that 90 per cent of these deaths are recorded in rural areas, of which 86 per cent occur at home without any medical attention. These alarmingly high figures due to the difficulties in controlling and eradicating malaria led to renaming of the National Malaria Eradication Programme in India in 2000 as National Anti Malaria Programme.
It has also been found that Malaria not only comes as a health problem but also encapsulates other social and economic burdens. It has been found to affect the annual economic growth in the countries with high malaria transmission is lower than countries without malaria. According to studies on economic evaluation & Malaria. They highlight how countries that have eliminated malaria in the past half century have all been either subtropical or islands. These countries’ economic growth in the 5 years after eliminating malaria has usually been substantially higher than growth in the neighboring countries.
It might be thought that malaria has a large impact in poor countries because of its interaction with malnutrition. Malaria, along with other childhood infectious diseases, has been found to exacerbate malnutrition. Thus, overall adding to the environmental entropy disturbance and causing a devastating effect on the individual along with family and finally affecting the nation.
This campaign aims to raise awareness about the threat posed by vectors and vector-borne diseases and to stimulate families and communities to take action to protect themselves. The core element of the campaign is to provide communities with information. Taking this forward, Fiinovation has been associated with this campaign. The team at Fiinovation is working towards raising the levels of awareness in community through various advocacy initiatives that are directed towards reducing the spread of the diseases.
By: Dr Shilpa Jain