The Pattern of Morbidity and Access to Healthcare Service in the Riverine Flood-prone Villages of Assam, India

Jayanti Saha1 , * Open Modal Authors Info & Affiliations
The Open Public Health Journal 26 Oct 2023 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/0118749445269914231023070506



Floods are considered one of the common phenomena causing substantial death, morbidity, and damage to infrastructure as well as economic conditions across the world. India receives 75% of its total rainfall in the monsoon season, as a result, annually on average 8 million people are affected by the floods. The Brahmaputra valley of Assam is one of the worst flood-affected regions in the country. This study focuses on understanding the pattern of morbidity, health service utilization, and challenges faced to access healthcare services in the riverine flood-prone villages of Assam.


A mixed method study was followed to conduct the study. Primary data have been collected through interview schedules from 83 households. Descriptive statistics of both frequency and percentage were shown for categorical as well as continuous variables. Qualitative data were analyzed using a thematic framework.


The research findings indicate that in the flood-prone villages people face difficulty in accessing healthcare. However, the challenges intensify during flood times. It was identified that illnesses like fever, skin infection, diarrhea, and dysentery are linked to floods. Three themes were identified from the qualitative analysis i.e., lack of transportation facilities, non-functional sub-centres, and lack of money. The transportation facilities and the non-functional sub-centers were some of the causes along with the financial constraint to avail the health care facilities.


It can be concluded that to improve the health service condition in the flood-prone areas, there is an urgent need to improve both the quality and quantity of the sub-centres infrastructures and the manpower. Other public health interventions such as providing food, water, and shelter, especially during floods need to be developed. Encouraging early flood preparedness and public health awareness programs through community participation would also help to reduce the damage to these people.

Keywords: Healthcare, Accessibility, Availability, Barrier, Flood, Morbidity.
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