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

Articles By Chander Shekhar

Population, Health Status, and the Sustainable Development Goals

The fact sheets with key results of the National Family Health Survey-5, conducted in 2019–21, from 36 states/union territories were released recently by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. In this article, the authors highlight the emerging population and health issues from the NFHS-5 to monitor the country’s progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and the key policy issues to strengthen the population and health programmes in the country.


Family Welfare Programme in India: Expenditure vs Performance

Since the launch of the reproductive and child health policy regime in 1998-99, there has been a massive rise in government expenditure on family welfare programmes in India. This paper makes a systematic effort to assess the performance of the family welfare programmes vis-à-vis the trends in expenditure. The trends in key performance indicators for India and selected states reveal that progress has been slow and limited in the post-rch policy regime. Child immunisation coverage has decelerated, and the increase in the contraceptive prevalence rate and institutional delivery coverage have stalled. Consequently, the pace of reduction in the total fertility rate and infant mortality rate has slowed. Overall, the progress in key programme indicators is found to be incommensurate with rising expenditure.

Reviewing Reproductive and Child Health Programmes in India

Since the early 1990s, "decentralisation" and "integration" seem to be the buzz words underlying the implementation of various social development programmes in India, especially the reproductive and child health programme. Analysis reveals that the state-level effects of various RCH services are significantly higher than those at the district level. The pace of annual progress after 1998 in many RCH indicators is slower than before and a few indicators (e g, child-immunisation) have worsened, despite the expenditure on the programme being doubled. Decentralisation and integration of basic healthcare services may not be effective unless monitored centrally and backed by full time health (medical/paramedical) professionals at the delivery level.