research institute for compassionate economics

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

Written by r.i.c.e. on May 29th, 2020

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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