research and policy advocacy for health & wellbeing in India.

Sanitation

Exploring the causes and consequences of widespread open defecation in India

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Sanitation

Social Inequality

Understanding how social discrimination impacts child and maternal health in rural India

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Social Inequality

Maternal Health

Exploring challenges and policy responses to adequate nutrition in motherhood to improve child health

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Maternal Health

30,000 babies in UP

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Neonatal mortality is the number of babies, per 1000 live births, that die in the first 28 days of life.  Postneonatal mortality is the number of babies, per 1000 live births, that die between 29 days and a year.  Infant mortality is the sum of these two rates, that is, the number of babies, per 1000 live births, who die in the first year.  These numbers are considered good summary measures of population health.

The graphs below (also shown here) show state level differences in neonatal, postneonatal, and infant mortality from two of India’s most recent datasets – the Annual Health Survey (AHS) and the Sample Registration System (SRS).  The results for most states, and most rates, are quite similar.  The exception is neonatal mortality in Uttar Pradesh.

SRS reports UP’s neonatal mortality rate as 43.9 while the AHS reports it as 50.0.  As stand-alone rates, these numbers do not seem so wildly different, but because Uttar Pradesh has such a large population, the discrepancy in neonatal deaths between the two sources is over 30,000 deaths!  Perhaps another survey is in order.

No matter which of the surveys you use, Uttar Pradesh has one of the highest neonatal mortality (NNM) rates in the country.  That over 200,000 babies die in Uttar Pradesh every year is a tragedy.  These are babies who have been loved by parents and grandparents and siblings and neighbors.

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Three percentage point drop in IEC expenditure in 2015-16 SBM budget: Accountability Initiative

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Using government data, policy brief by Accountability Initiative  reports on trends for SBM Gramin along  parameters such as allocations and expenditures, physical progress of toilets built, expenditures incurred under Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities.

 The report shows that construction of IHHL accounted for 97 per cent of total expenditure between April 2015 and February 2016. IEC expenditure, on the other hand, accounted for only 1 per cent of total expenditure. This is a 3 percentage point drop from FY 2014-15.

Find the report here.

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PBS film on sanitation and stunted growth

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The Global Health Frontiers series on sanitation talks about the effect of poor sanitation on physical and cognitive development of an individual. The film has featured an interview with our MD, Sangita Vyas and Research and Policy Manager, Nikhil Srivastav. The interview highlights that sanitation in India has a lot to do with the elements of purity and pollution. These notions of purity and pollution inherent in the caste system itself contribute a lot to the widespread open defecation in India.

Watch the full video here.

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Dean’s paper on Caste and Life Satisfaction in EPW

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Dean’s new paper on ‘Caste and Life Satisfaction’ got published in Economic and Political Weekly this week. The paper shows one of the evidence on relevance of caste in North India. Dean has used SQUAT data to show relationship of caste to a person’s life satisfaction and notion of well being.In addition to reporting the differences in life satisfaction across caste categories in rural North India, where the Dalits and Other Backward Classes experience lower levels of life satisfaction as compared to the upper castes, the article also examines whether these differences can be accounted for merely by the association of caste with poverty.

Find the full article here.

 

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