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Decentralisation of healthcare services: A case study from eastern India
This paper examines the delivery of healthcare services in the context of decentralisation. It also explores the role of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) in the context of healthcare delivery with reference to rural India. It seeks to empower the local government by devolving power and responsibilities to them hierarchically. The involvement of local self-government in rural areas has enhanced the accessibility, affordability, equity and cost-effectiveness of healthcare delivery. The Alma Ata Declaration of 1978 advocates “Health for all” and seeks to realize decentralized delivery of public health services. Odisha is one of the states of eastern India which suffers from a setback of almost in all the developmental indicators. The major focus of the paper will be targeted towards the IMR (female) in rural areas of eastern India. The birth of girl child is still considered as a liability and external factors like caste, marriage, poverty and many other factors influences her chances of birth. For the success of any health programme, the local self-government should be downward accountable to the rural masses. The paper will highlight the role of health workers towards the lactating mother and female infants and also address the health issues among them. The paper draw its inferences from the field work carried among the lactating mother belonging to vulnerable community of eastern India. PRIs are involved in enhancing the healthcare services for vulnerable community at grass root level to a greater extent.