Observations of Life in Orissa, India (Part III)

Welcome back! This is the third posting in my series focusing on observations that I made of life in Orissa, India.

This week I would like to share more of my observations of what life looks like for many of the people in Orissa, and why it is important to meet the Millennium Development Goals.

Here are the last four topics:

Maternal Health
In Orissa, nine women die every day from complications related to pregnancy. The difficulty of reaching safe birthing centers is complicated by the effects of poor nutrition and general poor health of women in isolated areas. Pregnant women and their unborn children are particularly vulnerable to malaria, which is a major cause of infant and maternal mortality, low birth weight and maternal anemia.

HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases
50 percent of the population of Orissa is HIV positive. Tribal people suffer disproportionately from malaria, sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis, genetic disorders, and nutritional deficiency diseases. Many of these are the result of poor environmental hygiene, lack of safe drinking water, and improper waste disposal further aggravated by low literacy, low socioeconomic status coupled with cultural practices, and lack of access to medical facilities, all leading to serious public health problems.

Environmental Stability
The links between poverty and the environment are strong in Orissa which depends upon agriculture and forestry for its economy. This is also an area which fights cycles of drought, floods and heat which account for great mortality, especially in the tribal areas.

Global Partnerships
This last goal falls to the developed nations to implement. As you can see, the goals are all intertwined and no one goal can totally be met until all are met. We are being asked to create economic and social partnerships that will help states like Orissa build responsible economies, better schools and more hospitals…all of which will lead to the eradication of poverty.

Thanks again for keeping up with my posts. The final one in this series will come next week.

Posted by: Sharon Rabb, Project Specialist