Diarrhea in Orissa, India
India is one of the countries with the largest area in the world. it is also the second-most populous country after China with a population of about 1.23 billion people. The poverty standards in India have remained very high with a number of regions living in slum areas. Orissa, India, is one of the densely populated slums in India, which has a high number of their population living on less than one dollar every day. Research indicates that most of the people prone to air and water borne diseases such as cholera and diarrhea live in poor conditions and use contaminated facilities such as water. A shocking report published in The Guardian by Gethin Chamberlain indicated that, an alarming two million children under five years from the Indian slums die every year despite the countries growing status as an economic superpower (Chamberlain, 2009).
The Causes of Diarrhea in Orissa, India
The major causes of death in Indian slums such as Orissa are neonatal diseases, pneumonia, malnutrition, and diarrhea. The Indian coastal state of Orissa has faced several diarrhea attacks in its history due to hygiene challenges. For instance, constant floods in Orissa contaminate the wells that supply water for domestic use, which exposes the community to waterborne diseases such as cholera and diarrhea. In 2001, it was reported that swollen rivers in Buhar State, north of Orissa, flooded more than 70 villages about 60 miles north-west of Patma and more rains were expected in the area (Zaheer, 2001). These rains in Orissa State not only kill people, but also lead to several cases of dysentery and diarrhea. The village of Raipur in Orissa state is one of the villages that have been attacked by the floods, which contaminate the wells.
The sources of the contamination of water in India are not only natural, but also human instigated. The water sources in the villages in Orissa do not have sufficient toilets to improve their sanitation. The people in these villages defecate in the water sources such as rives and the floods, which provide the water for their wells, which they eventually use for home consumption. The contaminated water in these villages are used for drinking, a situation, which has been considered as preventable and unnecessary cause of diarrhea. For instance, in Chamberlain’s article, he indicates that the doubled child mortality rates in Indian slums such as the death of Surma’s son Parmesh, was caused by an easily preventable diarrhea (Chamberlain, 2009).
The Role of the Government in Controlling Diarrhea in Orissa
The poor members of the Indian community such as Orissa receive poor medical attention. According to a devastating report by Save the Children, the poor are disproportionately affected and the charity accuses the Indian government of failing to provide adequate healthcare solutions to the impoverished majority of its population (Chamberlain, 2009). The vulnerable population at Orissa state not only face the challenges of infection, but also treatment of the diarrhea, which continues to claim more lives despite the economic rise of their country. The government’s health departments have neglected the poor majority in the Indian coastal state. Nevertheless, charitable organizations such as Gram Vikas and Save the Child have made tremendous efforts to educate the Orissa population on the benefits of sanitation in avoiding diarrhea infections to reduce its prevalence.
Chamberlain G., (Sunday 4 October 2009). Two million slum children die every year as India booms. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/oct/04/india-slums-children-death-rate
Zaheer K., (Monday 23 July 2001). Flood-hit Indians fall ill from contaminated wells. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/jul/23/1