PUBLIC HEALTH

HEALTH SYSTEM
In search of quality care
The public's perception that government facilities and services are poor has led them to abandon these in favour of private providers. But those are not necessarily better, writes R Balasubramaniam.
R Balasubramaniam
December 2012

DRUG-RESISTANCE
TB: Dangerous comeback
It is frightening to think of how the new drug resistant strain of tuberculosis is going to spread in crowded, unhygienic, urban India. Doctors are worried.
February 2012

DRUGS / MEDICINE
The Superbugs are here - III
The Government's response to the emergence of Superbugs should be urgent and specific, but instead it has been living in denial even as the threat multiplies.
November 2011

DRUGS / MEDICINE
The Superbugs are here - II
Superbugs will alter the course of medical history. India needs to put in place proper systems that will ensure that drug resistance does not set in.
June 2011

DRUGS / MEDICINE
The Superbugs are here
Antibiotics are used carelessly in India, with doctors, pharmacists, patients and drug companies all contributing to their abuse. The results could be catastrophic.
May 2011

PUBLIC SERVICES
Better healthcare, on our watch
A pilot project in community-based monitoring under the National Rural Health Mission in three districts of Jharkhand provides encouraging results.
Jharkhand
June 2010

COMMUNITY HEALTH
Growing focus on palliative care
Kerala's palliative care movement shows health services can go well beyond the biomedical model of health and be seen as an affirmative act of living with dignity.
Kerala
March 2010

SWINE FLU
As healthy as a pig-sty
Animal farming practices that pay little heed to the welfare of domestic animals invariably lead to public health threats for humans. Swine flu is simply the most recent reminder of this.
May 2009

SMOKING BAN
Clamping down on second-hand smoke
A clear focus on protecting the interests of non-smokers has led to worldwide efforts to ban smoking in all public places. India too has joined this trend.
November 2008

RECLAIMING HEALTH POLICY
Missing: A 'healthy' debate
If public health systems are failing on account of certain causes, the solution should lie in fixing them. However, the state seems to be looking for an escape route.
Public finance
August 2008

RAIN-FED DISEASES
This monsoon, Assam takes on malaria
The state has 20 per cent of malaria deaths in India, but this time, doctors say they have taken substantive measures.
Assam
May 2008

CONTROLLING TUBERCULOSIS
Not quite on the DOT
Most poor patients find that the benefits of Directly Observed Treatment are out of their reach.
March 2008

SMOKING
Study: India sitting on tobacco epidemic
Within in the next two years, around 10 lakh people will die because of smoking in India alone, says a study.
February 2008

SLUMS
A model for sanitation for the urban poor
A systematic, participatory effort to map and understand the need for sanitation in Sangli's slums has helped Shelter Associates bring about a change in the mindset of civic officials and residents alike.
Cities | Housing | Maharashtra
April 2007

ACCESS TO HEALTH
Claiming the right to health care
India is notorious for its abysmal health services leading to very high infant and maternal mortality rates. Ila Pathak provides a glimpse of how much effort it takes to get official health functionaries to perform their assigned duties with a minimal degree of seriousness.
Women's Health | Gujarat
March 2007

PUBLIC HEALTH
Goa's health care challenges
Recent data on health indicators suggest that while health care in Goa remains far ahead of the national average, there are many cracks in the system. Indeed, on many counts the state appears to be losing the ground gained earlier, even as new challenges loom. Rupa Chinai reports.
March 2007

ADIVASIS
Paying a steep price for motherhood
Even as New Delhi says maternal mortality numbers are falling, tribal women Madhya Pradesh are facing a negligent, cruel and corrupt healthcare system and dying during childbirth. When the conduct of hospital staff is questioned, they face retaliation instead of accountability. Sachin Jain reports.
Health | Adivasis | M.P.

WATER-BORNE DISEASES
Struck by fluorosis
Of 62 million Indians suffering from fluorosis, more than six million are children and young people. Among these young, nearly 20,000 are in Assam alone.
Assam
January 2007

CHILD HEALTH / DISABILITY
In UP, the war on polio stumbles
In India's most populous state, with its low levels of sanitation, and high malnutrition rates, polio has made a dangerous comeback. The world is now looking at India to stem the spread.
Disability | Uttar Pradesh
December 2006

OPINION
Will the Public Health Foundation be meaningful?
The proposed Public Health Foundation of India will establish five 'world class' institutes to train 1000 public health professionals every year. But just where will these new public health experts be employed?
Guest column
November 2006

AIDS AND THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
An opportunity to end health care slumber
The HIV epidemic has brought into focus multiple public health issues facing rural India today. This presents us with an opportunity.
AIDS
November 2006

TUBERCULOSIS
TB: gravest danger to India - II
In the last 20 years, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus has emerged as an accelerator to Tuberculosis. HIV's ability to fast forward TB has frightening implications.
November 2006

TUBERCULOSIS
TB: gravest danger to India
Tuberculosis has emerged as the greatest danger to India threatening the health of millions. More than 4,500 people die everyday unable to battle the disease.
November 2006

ACCESS TO CARE
Universal care - still miles to go
Public expenditure on health care today is a dismal 0.9% of GDP; the overwhelming majority of health costs are paid by patients out of pocket.
October 2006

PESTICIDE RESIDUES
Fiery debate back, but standards scuttled
Once again, a study by the New Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment found alarming levels of pesticide residues in soft drinks and stirred up a public debate.
Public health | Consumers
October 2006

AGRICULTURE HAZARDS
Endosulfan victims: Kerala owns up responsibility
The LDF government's recent payment of compensation to the victims is a great climb down, for this is the first time a Kerala government has conceded ground on the matter.
Environmental hazards | Kerala
September 2006

ANALYSIS
Iodised salt: health or mere profiteering?
The nature and comprehensiveness of research into iodine deficiency has itself never made a categorical case for a ban, finds Aparna Pallavi.
August 2006

SALT BAN
Iodised salt: The lesser known facts
The central government wants to ban the sale of non-iodised salt on grounds of rising iodine-deficiency. However, states with notable rise in deficiency are those where a ban has already been in force for the past two decades the north-eastern states and Uttar Pradesh. P Venu, an Assistant Salt Commissioner in Gujarat, connects the dots.
Government
July 2006

CARRION SPREAD DISEASE RISKS RISING
Vanishing vultures: is there hope?
Vultures are nature's scavengers and their effectiveness in disposing off dead cattle has been a critical public health safeguard in India. But with the sub-continent losing 95% of its vulture population in just 15 years, scientists and conservationists have been scrambling to understand why, and propose remedies. Darryl D'Monte has more.
Wildlife
April 2006

PUBLIC HEALTH EXPENDITURE
The health of nations
India needs a strong public health system, but our direction is the opposite. Public spending on health is a mere 0.9% of GDP, and medical care is now the second most common cause of rural family debt. Public ill health, private profit - that's the partnership we are forging, writes P Sainath.
P Sainath
January 2006

EARLIER ARTICLES
in this section ...
- Are we ready for the avian flu?
- Who cries when mothers die?
- Viewing health as a right
- A poor and unhealthy nation
- Mismanaging encephalitis epidemic
- Pass the (iodised) salt, please
- Snuffed out on screen
- Clean hands, not soap sales
- The cost of eradicating polio
- Rural Mission: promising goals
- Soft drinks, hard realities
- Slow progress towards sanitation
- Less water, more pumps
- The pressure for health care
- Blowing back the smoke
- After the poisoning
- JPC report on pesticides, colas
- The living dead
- Need another freedom struggle!
- The dirty dozen
- Testing healthcare reforms in U.P.
- Mortality rates dip, east Maharashtra
- Piped dreams
- Colas: putting the bottle first
- Public services, private anguish
- A juicy opportunity
- Warning: Monopoly Media
- Wash your spinach, twice
- Polio programme stumbles
- Public health being revamped
- Yellow cards for the poor.
- An Indian life