Tag Search: “maternal & child health”

Religion and abortion: The role of politician identity

Debates surrounding abortion invoke both religion and politics. This column examines whether the religious identity of legislators influences abortion rates in the districts in which they are elected, conditional upon their party affiliation. It finds that the election of one additional Muslim legis

Despite improvements in child health, why do so many newborns still die?

The ‘Million Death Study’ shows that the death rate of under-five children in India dropped from about 90 per 1,000 to about 47 during 2000-2015. However, improvements in death rates in the first month of life have been slow, and deaths from low birthweight remained largely unchanged. In this ar

Gorakhpur's Japanese Encephalitis malady

The recent controversy around multiple child deaths in a public hospital in Gorakhpur district in Uttar Pradesh has brought the focus back on Japanese Encephalitis – the child killer disease. In this article, Smriti Sharma contends that a holistic, intersectoral approach is required to tackle the

Political decentralisation, female leadership, and health in rural Bihar

Political decentralisation and female representation in governance are known to improve social welfare by influencing policy decisions in favour of women and children. Analysing data from rural Bihar, this column finds that having a female leader at the village council level has a strong positive as

Midday meals scheme: Are corruption claims exaggerated?

Soon after Aadhaar was made compulsory for availing midday meals in schools, the government claimed that the move had helped expose several instances of schools siphoning off funds under the scheme by reporting inflated student enrolment. Comparing official data with that from the Indian Human Devel

Health policy and economic growth in India

A new synthesis paper (Menon 2017) produced by the International Growth Centre brings together evidence from various health-related IGC studies on India undertaken over the past seven years, to draw implications for health policy. At a workshop organised by IGC in collaboration with Ideas for India

The demographic impact of extended paid maternity leave in Bangladesh?

In March 2017, Indian Parliament passed the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 extending paid maternity leave to 26 weeks. This column analyses the impact of extension of paid maternity leave in Bangladesh in 2006 and 2010, on infant mortality, female labour force participation, and fertility

Assam's Brahmaputra Community Radio Station: Innovation in health communication?

River Brahmaputra which flows across the Northeast Indian state of Assam, carves out a network of nearly 2,300 islands, isolating them from the mainland and excluding their inhabitants from access to basic infrastructure and health facilities. Based on her fieldwork, Anjali Mariam Paul describes the

Leaving stunting behind: Evidence from ethnic Indians in England?

Despite impressive rates of economic growth in recent decades, India remains one of the worst-performing countries worldwide in terms of height, among children and adults. This column shows that height gaps exist, although decline substantially, among adult immigrants of Indian ethnicity in England,

Surrogacy bill: Implications and way forward

Contributing to the ongoing debate on India’s surrogacy bill, Dutta and Sarkar discuss the potential implications of the bill on the country’s billion-dollar surrogacy industry. They contend that India could follow in the footsteps of Israel and adopt a more pragmatic and holistic approach to re

Understaffed, underserved: Human problems of India's public health system

India’s progress in reducing infant and maternal mortality is rather slow. This column shows the extent of shortfall of gynaecologists and auxiliary nurse midwives - the frontline of the battle against infant and maternal mortality – across health facilities in the country. It argues that along

Banning commercial surrogacy in India

In an attempt to protect the welfare of surrogate mothers, the Indian government has proposed to introduce legislation that will ban commercial surrogacy in the country. In this article, Ajit Karnik, Professor of Economics, Middlesex University, Dubai, discusses the threats that are associated with