Primary Healthcare Practice in Developing Countries. A Case Study of India

Term Paper 2017 9 Pages

Health - Public Health


Table of Content


India’s Demographic and Epidemiological Profile

India’s Demographic Profile

India's Demographic Transition and its Consequences for Development

India’s Epidemiological Profile

Burden of Disease

India's Epidemiological Transition and its Consequences to Development

India’s Epidemiological Trends Compared to Australia

India’s Development Prospects and Its Impact on Health




Assessing and improving primary healthcare has been an enormous challenge to the Healthcare Systems of developing countries around the globe. Therefore; lack of adequate healthcare services in most developing countries is believed to be the principal cause of short life-expectancy, owing to the high rates of mortality. In most developing countries, especially in Africa and Asia, policy makers and technical agencies do not seem to give primary healthcare high priority, and this is probably the reason as to why, healthcare standards in these countries have remained low, despite the immense effort by the International community. Moreover, most healthcare national programmes, which are initiated in developing countries to abase the public healthcare challenge, do not achieve remarkable success. Thomas (2009) claims, “The reasons for the failure of these national health programmes are multi-factorial. The most vital among these are the lackadaisical approach by the government officials involved in implementing the programmes” (p.1). On the other hand, population health issues seem to hinder significant development of most developing countries.

One of the most significant factors, which seem to have worsened the issue, is the rapid expansion of the populations within the developing countries. It has been found that, developing countries have the highest population growth rate compared to the wealthier nations such as the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States of America.

From an economic perspective, the disproportionate effect on the progress of developing countries can be attributed to the inadequate healthcare systems. Economic reports indicate that developing countries in dare need of healthcare systems are incurring enormous costs, owing to the burden of disease. Brink (2012) remarks, “A robust health system lies at the heart of building a country that has a healthy population, healthy society and healthy economy. The irony is that the countries that need those healthcare systems the most are paying the heaviest price” (par. 1). This phenomenon explains why healthcare influence development in developing countries. A healthy population plays a pivotal role in establishing a healthy economy of any country. However, it is worth noting that, the correlation between the progress of healthcare and national development follows diverse trends. For instance, change in demographic trends causes pressure on the existing public healthcare systems. Therefore, this research will give an overview on the concept of development and its links to health in India.

India’s Demographic and Epidemiological Profile

India’s demographic and epidemiological profiles explain the observed healthcare and national development issues. Currently, mortality rate has assumed an upward trend, and the public healthcare system is facing enormous disease burden. Medical reports indicate that demand for healthcare services have increased significantly; leading inaccessibility to essential medical services. Public healthcare facilities are also experiencing unprecedented pressure from the ever increasing population; thus, delivery of healthcare services in healthcare facilities has become compromised (Haub, 2009). Consequently, the Indian healthcare system has been characterized with low healthcare standards and healthcare resources utilization.

In general, demographic changes usually intersect with epidemiological patterns because; the two entities are inter-related. Therefore, India’s health status is determined by the demographic and epidemiological trends. As such, it is worth evaluating the trends of these two factors to understand their impact on the national development, which is usually used as the principal determinant of the healthcare status. Moreover, it is also used to identify numerous economic inequalities that influence the health status of the population.

India’s Demographic Profile

In a comprehensive review of India’s demographic profile, population dynamics can be identified to enhance the prediction of India’s economic growth. Demographic reports indicate that India is currently opening up numerous economic opportunities, owing to the progressive demographic changes, which have been occurring across the nation in the past decade. This has been so probably because; there is a significant decline of infant and child mortality, which has favoured population expansion. Bloom (2011) remarks, “Demographic change in India is opening up new economic opportunities. As in many countries, (including India), declining infant and child mortality helped to spark lower fertility; effectively resulting in a temporary baby boom” (p. 1).

Demographic reports indicate that India has been facing an enormous challenge of its population growth. Since 1951, the population of India recorded immense expansion, which created various demographic issues; thus, prompting the Government to design demographic approaches that were aimed at addressing developmental inequalities. By 1981, the population growth rate of India had increased by 24.7 % over a decade from 13.3 % growth rate recorded in 1951. However, India’s population control measures were found to introduce significant improvement from 1971 onwards. For instance, the percentage population growth over decade decreased consistently from 24.8 %, in 1971 to 21.5 %, in 2001. Another impressive population growth factor, which seems to have increased economic potential of India, is the broadening of the working-age population. Moreover, the expansion of the urban population serves as an indicator of economic growth. Demographic reports indicate that India’s urban population growth increased consistently from 17.3 %, in 1951 to 27.8 %, in 2001 (Kosh 2007).

India's Demographic Trends: Population Size and Growth, 1951-2001

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: Kosh (2007)

According to the above data, appreciable demographic changes from 1971; a point at which population expansion started slowing down with an increase of the working-age population and urban population. From an analytical perspective, the observed demographic changes can be attributed to a decrease in infant and child mortality across India, leading an increase in the percentage of the working-age population. In addition, birth control programmes seem to have produced remarkable outcomes, and these trends have remained, more or less, the same up-to-date. Concisely, it appears true to state that India’s opportunity to reap its demographic dividend has come because; its working-age population has increased remarkably to boost economic development, especially through expanding the country’s labour force (Ingle & Suryawanshi 2011).



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healthcare India primary care



Title: Primary Healthcare Practice in Developing Countries. A Case Study of India