The State of Madhya Pradesh has the highest rates of malnutrition among the children in India. As per the latest National Family Health Survey 60 % of its children in age group of 0 – 3 years are under nourished. Madhya Pradesh has the highest infant mortality rate and 3rd highest maternal mortality ratio in the country. 76 out of every 1000 children born in the state die before their first birthday and approximately 24 women die everyday in the state. Though the state has introduced many schemes to help combat the same, but is not yielding the desired results for children and women. As per state's health department web site Madhya Pradesh for its population of 60.38 million (as per 2001 census) has the following health infrastructure:
- District hospitals 48
- Civil hospitals 54
- Community health centers 270
- Primary health centers 1149
- Sub health centers 8834
- Sanctioned beds in district hospitals 8945
- Sanctioned beds in civil hospitals 2775
- Total licensed blood banks by state 41
Activists have been strongly advocating to call attention on the issues of maternal and infant survival in the state. An analysis taken by civil society organizations on rural health infrastructure versus the population in the state reveals that there is just 'one bed per 5.6 villages' in the state which indeed is alarming!. It is not only the issue of beds or buildings. Even where there are structures or health centers they lack basic minimum facilities as needed and defined by rules and are not sufficient enough to save lives or provide for better health care to its people.
As per Reproductive and Child Health District level household survey (2004) data, out of the 386 primary health centre's surveyed in the state only 224 had drinking water facility. This means that only 58.3 percent primary health centre's had drinking water while others have no such facility. Similarly in case of community health centre's out of the 46 surveyed only 10 had facility of drinking water. In case of vehicles like ambulances out of the 386 primary health centers surveyed only 35 had vehicles which were in running condition and out of 46 community health centre's surveyed 31 had vehicles in the running condition.
Infrastructure investment does not only mean building equipments etc. It does includes human resource, which is the core in health, and needs to be focused upon. State needs to fulfill vacancies of doctors, para-medics, and nurses but also provide them with facilities to support them to provide care for the people. The State needs to peg health of its people as priority number one, transform on immediate basis which is not only limited to public proclamations and announcing schemes but also delivering results at ground level.