The number of fluoride affected population has come down by 15% in the 3.5-year period between April 2014 & December 2017. More than 10 million people are still affected by fluoride. While southern states have substantially improved, 10 other states have seen an increase in the number of affected people.
Presence of fluoride in drinking water has been a long standing problem in multiple states. Latest government data indicates that more than 10 million people are still affected by fluoride in drinking water across the country. While some states have improved, the situation has worsened in some other states where more people are affected today than in 2014.
More than 12500 Habitations still affected
As of December 2017 , a total of 12577 habitations are affected by fluoride compared to 14133 in April 2014 , a reduction of 11% in 3.5 years. At least one habitation was fluoride affected in 19 different states in 2014 while that number has come down to 17 in the year 2017. As of December 2017, close to half the total number of affected habitations are in Rajasthan followed by 1336 in West Bengal. More than 100 habitations are affected in 14 states while more than 500 habitations are affected in 6 states as of December 2017.
More than 10 million people still affected
A total of 11.77 million people were fluoride affected as of April 2014. This has come down to 10.06 million in December 2017, a reduction of 15%. As of 2017, more than 40% of the affected people are in Rajasthan. In 2014, more than 1 million people were affected in 4 states while it is down to 3 states in 2017. Even in 2017, more than one lakh people are affected in 13 states.
More people are affected in 2017 compared to 2014 in 10 States
While the affected population has decreased by 15% in the 3.5-year period between April 2014 & December 2017, the situation has deteriorated in 10 states. The number of affected people increased by 6.6 lakh in West Bengal while it increased by 6.08 lakh in Bihar between 2014 & 2017. The number of affected people increased by more than one lakh in 7 states. Rajasthan, the state where more than 40% of all the affected people live, has seen an increase of 2.6 lakh in the number of affected people. In Punjab, only 568 people were fluoride affected in 2014 whereas the number increased by more than 600 times to reach 3.66 lakh in 2017. In Jharkhand, the number of affected people increased by more than 50 times between 2014 & 2017. These 10 states haven’t improved despite funding support.
Southern States show the way
The southern states showed substantial improvement during the 3.5-year period. In Karnataka, the number of affected people has decreased by over 9 lakh while it decreased by over 8 lakh in Andhra Pradesh. In Telangana, the number of affected people decreased by over 5 lakh. The number of affected people has reduced by over 25 lakh in the four southern states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana & Kerala.
Featured Image: Fluoride in drinking water