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

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Skeletal Health Services Cannot Resist Pandemics

The huge interstate disparities and glacial pace of improvement further add to the problems.

Non-communicable Diseases and Their Macroeconomic Impact in India

Non-communicable diseases now account for two-thirds of the total mortality in India and are projected to account for an estimated 75% of the total mortality by 2030. Cardiovascular diseases, cancer, respiratory diseases, and diabetes are the country’s leading causes of death. Taken as a whole,...

Psychologist as Survivor

A psychologist reflects on his experience of being a COVID-19 caregiver, juggling survivor’s guilt and a fear of infection.

Regional Variations in Multidimensional Poverty

Regional variations in multidimensional poverty and inequality are analysed for the two different administrative regions of Tripura—village committees under the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council and gram panchayats under the panchayati raj institutions—using a primary survey. Special emphasis is laid on the deprivations of households with regard to health, education, and the standard of living across these two administrative regions as well as the rural development blocks. The level of multidimensional poverty and incidence appears to be higher in village committees than gram panchayats even though the average deprivation among the poor is around 40% for both the areas with robust between-group inequality.

Maternity Entitlements

Maternity benefits of at least `6,000 per child are a legal right of all Indian women under the National Food Security Act, 2013. In practice, a large majority are still deprived of maternity benefits. A recent survey, conducted in six states of North India, reveals that pregnant women’s basic needs for nutritious food, proper rest, and healthcare are rarely satisfied. Among the women who had recently delivered a child, about half had eaten less than the usual during pregnancy and nearly 40% complained of a lack of rest at that time. The average weight gain during pregnancy was just 7 kg. There is, thus, an urgent need for better recognition of the special needs of pregnancy, provision of maternity benefits in accordance with the law, and better support for pregnant women, including quality healthcare.

An Evidence-based Inquiry into the Endosulfan Tragedy in Kasaragod, Kerala

A review of the literature on the toxicology of endosulfan and assessment of the various pesticide-regulating agencies worldwide, as well as a statistical analysis of the medical camp data and primary data of the 2015 Kerala Disability Census, is carried out to elucidate possible evidence for higher prevalence of disabilities and disorders in the endosulfan-sprayed areas in Kasaragod, Kerala. The enquiry does not indicate a higher prevalence of the health problems in the endosulfan-sprayed areas in Kasaragod, compared to the unsprayed areas in the place and elsewhere in Kerala.

National Lockdown and COVID-19 Containment in India

What impact the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown has had on the spread of the virus in Class 1 cities of India is discussed using an interrupted time series model. Four variants of the susceptible–infected–recovered models are used to develop a counterfactual, which are compared with actual data. The analysis reveals that the lockdown has reduced the number of COVID-19 cases by 23.65 million–33.77 million and averted approximately 0.001 million–0.010 million deaths. At the regional level, it has prevented a major health crisis as existing intensive care unit and ventilator facilities for critically ill patients would have been inadequate.

COVID-19 Lockdown and Human Development

Maharashtra has emerged as the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the trade-off between lockdowns to flatten the infection curve and saving an already slow economy, there is a significant human cost, thus exposing and deepening the existing structural inequalities. The article maps and analyses the impact of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown based on the three dimensions of human development—health and nutrition, education, and livelihood. Given the acute shortage of food supplies for certain groups during the period, the article examines the government response by analysing the implementation of food programmes.

Plantation Workers and the OSHWC Code, 2020

Welfare provisions for plantation workers in the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020 are subject to how respective state governments frame rules and can have wide variations too. A basic standard template from the central government would have been better, preventing wide variations, as well as ensuring a basic threshold. Further, there is a need to recognise the use of technology in ensuring better occupational safety and health outcomes.

Biofortification

Biofortification refers to the increase in the amount of essential vitamins or provitamins or minerals in crops to improve the nutritional status of the people. The article argues that biofortification may not be an effective weapon to fight against the hidden hunger since it demonstrates limited capacity for nutritional enhancement and suggests a couple of alternatives.

Budget 2021–22

In the context of the pandemic, we evaluate budget 2021–22 and its six-pillar framework. We found lack of clarity as regards allocations under each of the pillars, and hence we undertook to group ministry-wise allocations under each of the pillars. This categorisation was even more liberal than the one that the finance minister herself spelt out. Despite that, we find that the budget fell short of what was required for problems facing the Indian economy.

Protection for Medical Professionals

Following the COVID-19 outbreak, when the recovery of the nation is contingent on doctors and healthcare personnel risking their lives every day, we must examine whether there is an equitable quid pro quo in terms of receiving service and providing protection. The causes of the antagonism between patients and doctors leading to violence against medical professionals are highlighted, and the efficiency of the legislations enacted for the protection of medicare professionals in India is examined. Finally, recommendations to remedy the deficiencies are provided.

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