Rural health is an integral part of public health. For many people living in rural areas, the acceptability of available healthcare services is still a challenge.
In India, almost 70% of the population live in rural areas, where affordable healthcare is a persistent concern. In comparison to the urban population, the health of rural population is often low. This is owing to the geographic, demographic, and socioeconomic variations between them. When compared to their urban counterparts, rural areas have higher rates of mortality and morbidity.
The curative paradigm of healthcare has transitioned over the last two decades to a participatory model of health promotion that promotes healthy lives and the development of healthy communities. In these rural locations, health promotion is critical in tackling public health issues. Health challenges can be effectively handled by using an approach that empowers individuals and communities to take charge of their own health, promoting inter-sectoral measures to construct healthy public policies in all sectors, and establishing a sustainable health system.
Several steps must be taken to improve healthcare in rural communities and address the challenges they encounter. Poor living conditions, lack of sanitation, water scarcity, and other issues must be highlighted and addressed. Child malnutrition, anemia, pregnancy complications in women, and communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, dengue fever, and others, pose a greater threat to the population of rural areas than their urban counterparts due to their limited acceptance of preventive healthcare services.
Health promotion programs primarily target public health conditions and problems and advocate a variety of measures to address them. Health promotion initiatives aid in the reduction of risk factors that contribute to chronic diseases and the improvement of the rural population’s quality of life. It also covers a wide range of topics, including attitudes that affect healthy behavior, healthy lifestyle habits, and the development of healthy environments. Implementing health promotion programs in schools and Gram Panchayats, as well as teaching the community to prioritize health by considering complex health determinants like cultural beliefs, behavior, knowledge, attitude, and so on, can empower people to make healthier choices and reduce their risk of disease and disability. This will aid them in decreasing health inequities, improving quality of life, and gaining access to healthcare services at the population level.
It is critical to comprehend rural health determinants in order to boost health promotion. This can be accomplished by establishing a more comprehensive plan of rural health promotion programs. It is necessary to implement strategies based on the difficulties that rural communities experience in order to address their health demands. The identification of service gaps and the development of initiatives to remedy these gaps are viewed as the most important influencing factors. Furthermore, a greater emphasis should be placed on a number of key health issues that are prevalent in rural regions, such as maternal and child health, communicable diseases, and so on. To do so, health promotion components must be improved with simple, cost-effective and geographically suitable approaches which sees community participation. It is more beneficial to raise knowledge about various health practices and current health problems that are adapted to the requirements and beliefs of rural people.
About the Author
Harshita R. is an intern with the CHD group. She is an avid reader who’s core interest also lies in evidence based research and health management.
Disclaimer: Views expressed are the author’s own. CHD Group takes no liability on behalf or for the contents expressed.