Public health cadre in India: The need of the hour
India has made considerable progress in public health since independence including eradication of small pox, poliomyelitis, guinea worm, and elimination of yaws, leprosy and neonatal tetanus from the country. The strategies of the National Rural Health Mission have resulted in significant improvements in key health indicators like institutional deliveries, full immunization, and availability of diagnostic and family welfare services in many states of the country. However, the country’s health system continues to faces many challenges. Population of India as per census 2011 stood 1210 million.1 The demographic transition of the country has been relatively slow, so the population ages slowly. Because of epidemiological transition, the county is facing double burden of communicable as well as non-communicable diseases. The rates of coronary heart disease (CHD) have increased rapidly in India recently which is also attributed partly to a demographic transition. The country is facing other several public health problems. In 2012, the infant mortality rate (IMR) was 42/1000 live births and there was a huge gap between IMR of rural (46/1000 live births) and urban (28/1000 live births), while the maternal mortality ratio was 178/100,000 live births.2 According to National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3), nearly 50 % of children under 5 years age have protein energy malnutrition of various grades.