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EPW published Payal and Nikhil's paper on Caste Prejudice & Infection!

Blog Post1 min read

In light of India’s continuing efforts to reduce maternal mortality, why government hospitals continue to be dangerously unhygienic, posing serious infection risks to patients, is explored. Through interviews and observations at public hospitals in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Madhya Pradesh, we find that unhygienic practices and behaviours by health staff abound, leading to an environment with high potential for infection. Deep caste prejudice against cleaners prevents the professionalisation of their work, leaving them overburdened and under-equipped to maintain standards of hygiene. Casteist notions of cleanliness also weaken rigorous implementation of infection control measures by hospital staff. Rather than addressing these deeper issues, antibiotics are routinely prescribed as a shortcut to deal with the risk of hospital infection.

You can get the paper here!

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r.i.c.e. is a non-profit research organization focused on health and well-being in India. Our core focus is on children in rural north India. Our research studies health care at the start of life, sanitation, air pollution, maternal health, social inequality, and other dimensions of population-level social wellbeing.

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