Envis Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Friday, May 24, 2024








Health is directly related to the environment. With environmental degradation being responsible for most of the diseases. In Assam the health of the people pertains to two distinct areas.

A.   Health of Rural People

B.   Health of Urban People.

The rural people usually suffer from health problems on account of:

a.    Contaminated drinking water. 

b.    Improper sanitation

c.    Poor habitat

d.   Insufficient Medical facilities

e.    Exposure to indoor air pollution due to the use of biomass fuel.

f.    Water pollution due to the use of pesticides & chemical fertilizer, animal dung etc.

Water borne diseases, such as Diarrhea, Dysentery, Cholera, Gastroenterotities etc. are most common in rural areas due to the contaminated drinking water associated with aerobic & anaerobic microbes. Similarly vector borne diseases are also comparatively higher in rural areas. Mortality is also high in rural areas due to the insufficient medical facilities where infant & child mortality rate is much higher than in the urban areas. Most of the children are suffering from water borne diseases associated with malnutrition. 

Poor habitat and improper sanitation are other major problems in the rural areas. Untreated drinking water from open sources like ponds, wells, rivers etc. are the major causes of various water borne diseases like Cholera, Diarrhea, Dysentery etc. Contamination of drinking water sources in rural areas may be due to the use of pesticides & chemical fertilizers & animal dung in the agricultural field and improper sanitation.

In Assam most of the village people are deprived of proper health care services as the dispensaries and health care centers are not at easy reach. Distribution of free medicine including the life saving medicines & saline are not adequatey provided to the poor rural people, many of whom are suffering from indoor air pollution due to the use of biomass fuel.  It is common for village people to use wood & bamboo and sometimes-dried animal dung & plants as fuel for cooking.

The scenario of the urban health is different from the rural people and the concerned health related factors are also different.  Health of urban people are affected due to the

a.    Lack of safe drinking water.

b.    Poor sanitary condition.

c.    Pollution from different sources.

Urban water supply is not sufficient in most of the urban areas of Assam including the Guwahati city. About 30% of the total population of city is supplied water from Brahmaputra River by the Guwahati Municipal Corporation. Urban population of the state is generally depends upon the ground water source for their domestic and other uses.


Meanwhile, PHE (Public Health Engineering) Department of the state has taken up a drive for testing up of arsenic alongwith fluoride, collecting samples of ground water from different corner of the state in collaboration with UNICEF.

The causes of Air pollution in urban areas are mostly due to the rapid increase of industrialization, transportation etc. The haphazard dumping of solid waste causing a great problem on health which are the major sources of various bacterial & viral diseases and vector borne diseases. The garbage from various sources finally flows into the roadside drains and cause a bitter environmental nuisance associated with faulty odor along with the blockage of drains, which causes many environmental problems in the cities. Open drains and the water logged areas coupled with hot and humid climatic condition favoured the mosquito breeding and transmission of water borne diseases. Poor sanitation in urban areas coupled with slum development cause many of the urban nuisances and spread of various diseases.

Vector borne diseases like malaria are one of the major public health problems of Assam. Though Assam constitutes nearly 2.59% of the total population of the country, it records more than 5% of the total malaria cases. Out of 146 Block of PHC's  (Public Health Centre) 103 are identified as high-risk PHC and 89 PHC's are situated in border areas and 50 PHC's are predominantly inhabited by tribal population.

Contaminated drinking water and improper sanitation is the primary cause for various water borne diseases. Diarrhea, Dysentery, Cholera and Gastroenteritis are the major water borne diseases of Assam. Diarrhea, Dysentery, Cholera, Typhoid, Hepatitis and E. coli are dominant during the monsoon season when protozoan and bacteria are rampant and overflow from sewage.

Ground water contamination especially fluoride toxicity in certain localities as reported is also an alarm to the concern departments and the agencies. Environmental factors are also responsible for the various communicable diseases, which have not yet been analysed in a systematic way. However, a few studies have been carried out in this regard.

Under the Health Department of Assam a sincere attempt is made to cover all the Health Care activities including various National Programmes & other Programmes run by the Directorate of Health & Directorate of Family Welfare.

A good number of rural hospitals have come up in the last few years. But these hospitals often face certain problems making health care still a major handicap for the rural people. The problems in brief are-

a.    Lack of resident doctors and hospital staff. Usually most of the doctors and hospital staff do not stay in rural hospitals.

b.    Lack of required basic equipments for the hospitals.

c.    Irregular supply of medicines and other essential items in hospitals.


d.   Improper maintenance of the hospital etc.




District Level Household and Facility Survey of Assam

Assam Health Survey Bulletin 2011-12

Assam Health Survey Factsheet 2011-12

Chief Ministers Vision for Women and Children

District Level Action Plan

Facility Survey

Health Indicators

Public Health Infrastructure Assam

List of Medical Colleges in Assam

List of Block Public Health Centre

Status of District Hospital in Assam 

List of First Referral Units - FRU 

List of Public Health Centres-PHCs

List of Community Health Center-CHC

List of Sub Divisional Civil Hospitals

List of Sub Centres