Study impact of mobile phones on health: Ramadoss

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New Delhi, Apr 11 (UNI) Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss today called for detailed study and research to identify the impact on health of mobile phones and mobile towers in view of their increasing use.

Inaugurating the First National Health Writers and Communicators Convention organised by Via Media and Communications at ASSOCHAM House here, Dr Ramadoss said that health had not been given much priority by the government in the last 50 years due to which the United Nations had listed India at No 128 on the human development index.

Health development is one platform where the country can immensely build upon, said the minister. "Providing health care for one sixth of the humanity is a challenge," he said and added that the government is trying to provide health care to its entire people. The bulk of the problems in the country could be categorised in four main areas, said the minister. These were maternal mortality, infant mortality, declining sex ratio and undernourishment. Other issues which demanded urgent attention were increasing use of tobacco, alcohol, drugs and junk food.

India is already the diabetic capital of the world he said citing urban malefic lifestyles and said there was an urgent need to protect 600 million youth in ndia who were under the age of 30.

Despite the enormity of the problem, India had made vast strides in health issues. The polio programme was one of the largest in the world, the minister said. The National Rural Health Mission is the largest mission in India's health history.

"This year the government plans to launch the National Urban Health Mission which would cover 420 cities and towns with a population of over one lakh", the minister added.

While the health outlay of the government had increased significantly from Rs 45,000 crore in the 10th Plan to Rs 1,36,000 crore in the 11th plan, the health challenges before the country were many and included addressing the issue of health human resource, chronic disease burden and ageing. Mr Ramadoss said he understood the problems better because he was first a doctor, than an environmentalist and lastly a politician.

UNI AJ SP GC1735

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