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

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Public Health System Is Failing the Women Farmers

Maharashtra, with its drought-prone areas, is one of the states with the largest number of male farmer suicides. In the aftermath of these suicides, women farmers struggle on multiple fronts. A poor public health system further fails them and aggravates their plight.

Delivering Essential Nutrition

In India, despite provisions for tribal development, 32% of tribal women are chronically undernourished, as opposed to 23% among those not belonging to tribal households.Large-scale surveys and routine monitoring are currently deficient in measuring the nutrition status of women, especially tribal women. This study was undertaken to analyse the reach of various health-related schemes for tribal women in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Odisha. In the light of its findings, it is recommended that all national schemes should be reviewed through a tribal lens, as tribes remain outside the ambit of most nutrition safety nets. Proven measures like strengthening tribal development nodal agencies, motivational incentives to fieldworkers and organised community involvement, need to be scaled up.

Efficiency of Healthcare Sector in Bihar

In this article, we focus on the efficiency of the healthcare system at the district level for Bihar. Although relatively an economically and socially disadvantaged state, the infant mortality rate in Bihar is very close to the all-India average. We explore the reasons for the differential performance of different districts by using data envelopment analysis. The efficiency rankings from our results indicate a mix of inefficiency, inadequacy of inputs, and the presence of an optimal targeting of funds under the National Rural Health Mission to low-performing districts.

Healthcare Consumption in Uttar Pradesh

C S Verma ( verma.cs@gmail.com ) is a senior fellow and Shivani Singh ( ssshivani15@gmail.com ) is a research associate at the Giri Institute of Development Studies, Lucknow. Alok Ranjan (alokranjancmc@ gmail.com) is a junior research fellow at the Indian Council of Medical Research and T Sundararaman ( sundar2016@gmail.com ) teaches at the School of Health Systems Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.

Targeting and Effects of Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana on Access to Care and Financial Protection

This article provides evidence on the impact of the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana on access to healthcare and financial risk protection; its coverage across selected states and whether the targeting is effective. Overall, just about 11% of households were enrolled and almost half of these households actually belonged to the non-poor category. Although the scheme has increased hospitalisation rate, we do not know if it has enabled people to access the “genuinely needed” inpatient care which they could not afford earlier or whether hospitals are inducing the demand by suggesting unnecessary inpatient care to the people. Disturbingly, it has hardly had any effects on financial protection. These evidences unequivocally indicate that targeted health insurance coupled with a healthcare delivery system dominated by private providers cannot be the means to achieve universal healthcare.

A Holistic Prescription

Shortage of medical personnel in rural areas needs a multifaceted strategy.

Menstrual Management and Low-cost Sanitary Napkins

The provision of low-cost sanitary napkins to women in rural areas is not an answer to the myriad problems they face in menstrual management. Apart from the need for a mechanism for ensuring the quality of the products and reducing the environmental cost of non-reusable products, the need is for a change in the attitude towards menstruation. It is because this is a taboo topic ruled by religio-cultural conventions that rural women face not only discomfort but also problems linked to reproductive health.

Food Security

Bihar's public distribution system used to be one of the worst in India, but the system has improved significantly from 2011 onwards. The National Food Security Act, backed early on by the political leadership, enabled the state to include the bulk of the rural population in this improved system. However, there is still a long way to go in ensuring that the system is reliable, transparent and corruption-free.

Are BIMARU States Still Bimaru?

Ashish Bose coined the acronym BIMARU in the early 1980s to describe the backwardness of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh relative to the best-performing states in terms of demographic indicators. This article extends Bose's analysis to recent years to ascertain if the proposition is still valid. To retain the integrity of the original exercise, the same indicators examined by Bose have been analysed, as far as possible. It fi nds that the BIMARU states have made a lot of progress, yet they continue to be bimaru as the gap between them and the national average persists in a majority of indicators.

Shedding the BIMARU Tag

The states of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan have been striving hard in the last decade to get rid of their BIMARU label. They have made impressive strides in the field of health and education, and their efforts to boost growth and mitigate poverty are worth noting.

PDS and the Rise of NCDs in Rural India

Is there a connection between the public distribution system (PDS) and the increasing reports on the high incidences of Type II diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in rural India and among the poor in urban India? Why should these non-communicable diseases (NCDs) normally associated with...
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