World Health Day observation in Odisha

The ‘World Health Day’ is celebrated on 7th April every year. It is celebrated under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization (WHO). The First World Health Assembly was held in 1948, by the World Health Organization and the Assembly decided to celebrate 7th April of each year, with effect from 1950, as the World Health Day. Each year a theme is selected for World Health Day that highlights a priority area of concern for WHO. 

The World Health Day is celebrated to draw worldwide attention to a subject of major importance to global health each year. On this day the WHO organizes international, regional and local events. 

After a study/research by Banagalore –based think tank Public Affair Centre (PAC), which undertook a three-year study on the usage pattern of toilets in the state and in TAMIL NADU suggest that faulty policies have led to lack of proper utilization of toilets.

According to the report prepared by the not-for-profit organization christened as CITIZEN REPORT CARD, most of the toilets constructed by NGOs/Contractors find few takers among people. The study claim that only 38% of people with toilets at homes constructed by NGOs/Contractors use them while many despite having toilets choose to defecate in the open.

The study, however, found 78% of people who construct their toilets either by themselves or by using masons, use the toilets or avoid open defecation. The study which was carried out in six districts of the state such as Sambalpur, Angul, Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Balasore, Ganjam, suggests that people are less likely to use toilets if these are constructed by NGOs/Contractors.

The study found that in Sambalpur, 92% of the toilets are constructed by NGOs while in Dhenkanal the number is 88%. Other districts also had similar numbers.

Research points to a policy lacuna. The study suggests involvement of people in toilet construction ensures more usage of toilets. However, most of the toilets in the state are constructed by NGOs and contractors. This hints at a policy lacuna and needs to be discussed, PAC said.

PAC also added that during their study they found out involvement of NGOs and contractors in toilet construction under some schemes or the other engenders corruption and eventually quality of the work suffers.

Findings of the report are significant keeping in mind the target of the State Government to make the state open defecation free by the end of 2019.

This has also brought forth the possible gaps in the implementation of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and the ways to plug the loopholes.

(The feature containing all information/data is collected by the author. The feature contains personal opinion of the writer. Latest Odisha News is not responsible for the opinion/data given in the article.)

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