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Saturday, January 28, 2023

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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Priceless Possession

By the Editor

The health scenario in Meghalaya is quite satisfactory but there are many things yet to be achieved. For example, the various schemes and projects which flow from the Central government and which are to be followed as per its guidelines and instructions , are being implemented accordingly in the state. Admittedly, there are some deficiencies which are to be looked into and accordingly rectified. The saying of Robert J. Mc Cracken: “A healthy body makes for a healthy mind and a healthy soul”, is meaningless when implementation of the schemes and projects are not satisfactorily done. Some health sub-centres, primary health centres and community health centres in the rural areas need special attention due to existing challenges such as shortage of manpower and medicines. Moreover, the villagers are already facing various hurdles like lack of basic necessities and poor transportation.

Health is the most precious gift from the Almighty that humans ought to cherish and to preserve. Many take it for granted and think they will live forever. Minor ailments come and go and thus have no effect on the minds. However, if major diseases afflict them then they cannot move freely and carry on with their daily activities. Then they begin to realise how wrong their earlier perceptions concerning health were. In course of time, people began to pay attention to the importance of health, no matter what the cultural background or religious beliefs were. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines “health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. The Government of India, taking cognisance of the WHO guidelines, started implementing health measures through its Five Year Plans which is now being implemented by NITI AYOG.

The Infant Mortality Rate and Maternal Mortality Rate, which are the health indicators, continue to be matters of great concern. A few years ago, they were comparable to those what used to be the BIMARU (Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh) states which were the highest in the country. Hence, steps for improvement of infrastructures in the health sector are greatly essential for socio-economic development. At present, the traditional practitioners are playing a vital role in this respect. These practitioners use the different herbs which grow locally and which possess medicinal properties. Till the advent of modern medicine, these indigenous practitioners had made significant contribution to the well-being of the area and its inhabitants. Recently, herbs like aloe and ginseng have been growing in importance and gaining worldwide attention. In the United States of America, alternative medicine is emerging as a significant contributor to one’s health. Many Americans have accepted the alternative medicines, though their expenses are not reimbursable. Even in Meghalaya, the medicinal qualities of turmeric and garlic have gained prominence. It is worth noting that even the Chinese had realised the potential of garlic as a medicinal ingredient and continue to consume it. Thus, the old saying holds true even today-“Health is Wealth”.

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