ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Abhay ShuklaSubscribe to Abhay Shukla

Public Health Situation in J&K

We, the undersigned health activists, practitioners, networks, academics, and individuals express our deepest concerns regarding the recent arbitrary abrogation of key parts of Article 370 as well as Article 35A of the Constitution of India, the bifurcation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&...

Harvest of Uteruses

Forced to migrate to sugar belt for work, women face multiple reproductive health problems, due to the back-breaking work and poor sanitation and hygiene conditions, including menstrual hygiene. This situation along with an absence of public health facilities, allows a fertile and lucrative ground to the private healthcare facilities to provide unnecessary and extreme treatments even for minor gynaecological ailments, including the removal of their wombs. More than 4,605 hysterectomies are said to have been performed in the Beed district alone in the last three years.

Public Health Systems and Privatised Agendas

Examining how health policy has fared in India during the last five years shows the constriction of finances for major programmes like the National Health Mission and Reproductive and Child Health Programme that has led to under-resourced public systems. The Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana health insurance scheme would only end up diverting public resources towards commercial insurance companies and private hospitals, while having doubtful benefits for community health.

‘Pathological Normalcy’ and Mob Violence

The application of the “pathological normalcy” perspective is used to examine the ongoing violence by cow vigilante groups and recent lynching incidents. These are not just isolated “aberrations” arising among scattered small groups, but could be viewed as morbid manifestations of much deeper disturbances in society as a whole. There is a need to recognise the underlying dynamic of these incidents—the cultivated shift towards a pathological culture of insecurity, hatred of the marginalised, and violence—without which effective prevention may be impossible.

The Malnutrition Market

Health activists have critiqued the Maharashtra government’s proposal to provide a ready-to-use therapeutic paste to malnourished children across the state, despite strong evidence of the benefits of cheaper, more appropriate and locally produced foods. The move is one more example of how malnutrition, a condition that results from the widespread deprivation and inequities exacerbated by a market-driven economic system, is being converted into an opportunity to expand markets and make profits.

Suppressing the Symptoms or Treating the Malady?

Maharashtra, which recently witnessed several attacks on front line doctors, has comparatively very low levels of per capita public health spending, shortfalls in health facilities, and major shortages of specialist public doctors. Dialogue mechanisms should be developed based on community monitoring, while existing legal provisions for grievance redressal need implementation. Doctor–patient communication must improve, and the serious ailments afflicting public health services in Maharashtra must be addressed to move beyond superficial solutions.

'Grand Challenges to Global Mental Health'

An essay in Nature last year, “Grand Challenges to Global Mental Health” (Vol 475, pp 27-30) announced research priorities for improving the lives of people with mental illness around the world, and called for urgent action and investment. However, many professionals, academics, and service user...

Great Opportunity, Serious Danger

The Anna Hazare situation invites two common reactions among progressives and those concerned with social change: some dismiss it as a middle class “urban picnic” and others acclaim it as just short of a revolutionary movement to establish “people’s power”. Strategies d iffer on the basis of where...

Community Monitoring of Rural Health Services in Maharashtra

What happens when villagers are allowed to monitor their local public health facilities? India's National Rural Health Mission is making such accountability a reality through its community-based monitoring initiative. This article presents the first three rounds of data collected by village health committee members in Maharashtra's 225 pilot villages. The obstacles encountered by the process and its strengths and limitations are also discussed.

Putting Health on People's Agenda

What happens when people take on the responsibility of 're-educating' doctors on rational care? An unusual experiment in Dahanu, an adivasi-dominated taluka in Maharashtra.
Back to Top