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

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Outsourcing Reproduction

Sourcing Surrogates: Actors, Agencies and Networks by V Deepa, Mohan Rao, Rama Baru, Ramila Bisht, N Sarojini and Susan Fairly Murray (New Delhi: Zubaan Publishing Services), 2013; pp 98, price not mentioned.

Safety of Healthcare Workers from Occupational Exposure to Infections

As India's healthcare industry has expanded continuously, the risk of nosocomial infections has increased proportionately. Measures to prevent it and put in place a mechanism to control the injuries are needed urgently, especially when there is not only an increase in domestic demand but also an impetus in health tourism. The protection of the country's skilled health workforce is a national need.

Health Workers in the Time of Ebola

This letter is in response to the editorial, “In the Time of Ebola” (EPW, 8 November 2014). Among the many relevant points, the editorial mentions the shortage of healthcare workers in the Ebola-affected countries in west Africa. This problem has been worsened by the high fatality rate among health...

Open Defecation in India

This study identifies 11 issues that have inhibited the spread of a comprehensive sanitation programme. It emphasises the complexity of issues and helps avoid the facile targeting of the poor as deficient citizens, whose latrine practices are viewed as a "primitive" source of social disorder and disease. Recognition that many factors are involved and interrelated might also serve as a warning against patchwork policies that disregard local context in their haste to proclaim another district an "open defecation free zone".

Responding to Sexual Violence

This paper is based on the results of establishing a comprehensive health-sector response to sexual violence. Eliminating existing forensic biases to rape and the neglect of healthcare needs of survivors, the model uses gender-sensitive protocol for medico-legal documentation of sexual violence, which focuses on informed consent, documentation of the nature of sexual violence, and collection of relevant forensic evidence. It uses standard treatment guidelines for the provision of treatment, and ensures psychosocial support to the survivor. The results indicate that a sensitive response by health professionals can play a crucial role in healing from sexual abuse.

Measuring Progress towards Universal Health Coverage

This paper proposes an approach to periodically measure the extent of progress towards universal health coverage using a set of indicators that captures the essence of the factors to be considered in moving towards universalisation. It presents the rationale for the approach and demonstrates its use, based on a primary household survey carried out at the district level. Discussing the strengths and limitations of the approach, it points to how these measures could be further refined. The effort is to find a method of measurement that will apply to any of the alternative ways of progressing towards universal health coverage, however defined and implemented.

Occupational Health and Safety in India

In light of the focus on the manufacturing sector it is important to scrutinise the existing occupational health and safety provisions in Indian law and their implementation. This article argues that the current disregard for workers' health and safety could prove costly in the long run, and any growth in manufacturing must entail a clear practicable system to ensure occupational health and safety for workers.

Killing Women to Curb Population

The Chhattisgarh tragedy will repeat unless governments accept women's rights.

In the Time of Ebola

Sound healthcare systems are the only insurance against deadly viruses.

Health, Illness and Disease

The conceptions of disease and its formulation under different paradigms have made it clear that the approach towards health and medicine has never been completely detached from ecology. Health and disease are thought to be the products of the interaction among three key elements: the agent, the host, and the environment. This paper is an attempt to develop an approach that encompasses the concerns surrounding an understanding of disease ecology and a patient's behaviour during treatment. Using the example of tuberculosis patients put under DOTS, which disregards the patient's say in decision-making, it analyses the implications for the larger health issue using the political ecology approach.

Whose Cleanliness?

The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Campaign) glosses over issues of caste, which is inextricably linked to sanitation work across the country, and the rights of sanitation workers. It incorrectly tries to draw legitimacy from Gandhi’s thoughts on hygiene and cleanliness.

Preserving Traditional Healing

Priests and mediums associated with "healing" folk cults have also been viewed as empowered agents of alternative modernity, and outside the priest's caste or class-based social context. In reality, the healer is often poor, and belongs to a lower caste. He or she is subject to the demands of the upper caste, rich clans, while ritually diagnosing the ailments of the latter's dependents in return for financial and political support.

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