Drought and women’s health status: a study of Kadapa District, Andhra Pradesh

Dr. Anitha, M.

There are several senses in which the health of women and girls can be considered as the basic indicators for the health of the society. Precisely because of gender discrimination, the health conditions of females generally tend to lag behind those of males, and therefore absolute improvement in these conditions is a reasonable indicator that the overall health conditions of that society are also getting better. The present study examines women’s health in drought prone areas in Kadapa District in the divided residuary Andhra Pradesh. In Kadapa district, as per 2011 Census, 66.03 % population live in rural areas. The total Kadapa district population living in rural areas constitutes 1,903,337, of which males and females represent 959,693 and 943,644 respectively. The sex ratio is 983 females per 1000 males. Literacy rate is 63.15 % as per 2011 Census. Gender wise, male and female literacy stood at 74.72 and 51.49 per cent respectively. The health conditions of women in the district as per WHO standards seem be low. Various factors such as lack of in taking of nutritious food, improper health facilities, inaccessibility, low income, illiteracy, ignorance, adherence to superstitious beliefs and lack of awareness are the attributing factors. It is suggested that concerted and sustained efforts coupled with social welfare measures are imperative to improve the standards and quality of health of rural women in the district which would in turn improve the overall health of the nation.

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