World Health & Population

World Health & Population November -0001 : 0-0.doi:10.12927/whp..17550

Address at the Inaugural Session

S.P. Agarwal


It is a great pleasure to be here at the Regional Conference on Public Health in South-East Asia in the Twenty-first century. I am glad that this meeting is being held in Calcutta, the home of some of our well-known medical institutions, like the All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, which is helping WHO organize the conference. We all know the Declaration if 1978, which established the social goal of Health for All, by the year 2000, based on primary health care as a key approach, chiefly emphasizing the prevention and promotion of health care. Since then, many milestones have been achieved, in terms of immunization, maternal and child care, environmental sanitation, nutrition, clean water supply, control of diarrhea diseases, vector control programs, and others. The infant mortality rate in India has decreased to 73 from 144 in 1960. Life expectancy from birth has increased from 49 in 1970 to 62 in 1996. The crude death rate and birth rate, as well as the child mortality rate, have also decreased considerably. Furthermore, we are soon to obtain the Guinea worm eradication certification. However, the 33% statistic of low birth weight babies is still very high.
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