India's latest census, conducted in 2011, points to a country of more than 1.2 billion people speaking 1,652 languages and dialects. Given this diversity, a large rural and poor population, increased urbanization and labor migration, and a long history of being colonized, it is not surprising that the health-related issues the country faces are equally diverse. Most health communication and promotion efforts in India have thus far focused on education, information, and prevention and have been directed at a host of communicable and noncommunicable diseases, such as tuberculosis (TB), small pox, cholera, and more recently, HIV/AIDS.

In the November, 1932, edition of the British Medical Journal, the then health commissioner of British India, Lt. Col. A. J. H. Russell, noted in an article titled “Health ...

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