COMMUNITY PERCEPTION IN RURAL HEALTH CARE- AN EMPIRICAL OBSERVATION


Aminul Islam
Research Scholar, Department of Sociology
Gauhati University, Guwahati, Assam, India

Abstract
While discussing about health we generally tend to look it from physical or biological angle. However, health has social angle as well. Health is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as being ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing'. This definition confirms that health has social implication. The standards of health are varies over time, society and culture. Sociologists have demonstrates that spread of diseases is heavily influence by demographic factors, socio economic status of individuals, ethnic traditions, and religious belief. They provide an insight on external factors such as family, economy, domestic environment and educational attainment which influence health aspect of people.

Key words: Health, Community, Social Aspect, Demography, Illness, Sanitation, Socialization

1. Introduction        
In an era of Science and technology, we have much more autonomy over our body and health. In this era situation that creates new possibilities also brings new risks.  Eminent Sociologist Ulrich Beck quoted that “we are living in a Global Risk society” where the happening of today is a part of “the socialization of nature”. Giddens (2007) stated that “phenomena that used to be dependent on nature become social, determine by technology and choices of people.”  If we sociologically observe Health and Illness then we find that both have personal and public dimensions. When we become ill, not only do we experiment pain, discomfort, but others also affect from our illness. Those who are close ally of us may extend sympathy, care and support in our illness. For example maternal death and infant death, not only affect the decease family but its impacts touches the entire health system that has social dimension. In the report of Health Systems in Africa (2012) it is mentioned that “health and illness have a co-relation that are regulated by socio-economic variable such as class, gender, education, ethnicity and geography”. World Health organization defines “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. In the 21st article of the Constitution of India it stated that, Right to life includes right to health which implies that everyone has right to attain highest standard of physical and mental health which is dependent on social determinants such as domestic environment, clean and safe drinking water, sanitation, nutrition, education, economic entitlements, and accessibility towards health institutions. All theses factor influence health of individual and society. In academic discourse it is held that health is the only productive asset of the poor. Any disease is likely to hit them the most. Poor health reduces productivity of individual leads to higher number of absent days from work that impact in earning of family. Health is valuable in its own right as it directly affect the well being of people. World renowned Economist and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen quoted that “we can do very little indeed if we are not alive.” He delineates a co- relation of health with other capabilities of an individual like freedom to be well nourished, to be educated, and to secure an income and so on. Since poor health is seen as an obstacle in achieving that freedom, it is deemed important that equal distribution of freedom and circumstances influences the probability of individually of being healthy. Along with health, hospitalization also bears social implications, in various sphere of life in regard to hospitalization individual behavior and decision are determined by the family, kin members, friend circle and neighbors.

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