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Issue Articles

AIIMS and the Failure of Imagining Healthcare

The pursuit of 'excellence' at AIIMS has become a rush towards greater specialisation, foiling the institute's founding mandate to produce doctors to serve India's masses.

Unshackling Science in India

India has the talent for research, but to realise the potential we need greater outlays, a transformation of the environment, loosening of government control and a recognition, especially in medical science, of the contribution of CSOs and the private sector.

Omicron: What Happens Now?

The long-term trajectory of COVID-19 will see the disease becoming endemic with the occasional flare up and frequent booster shots having to be given. We must understand the consequences of this path and reach a consensus on the level of risk we can live with.

Grief, Rage, Hope and now to A Place of Kindness

We must grieve for the millions who died in 2021 from Covid-19; we must also feel rage that the State was not responsive to their suffering. Groups of citizens stepped in to care for each other; that gives us hope we can move to a new place of kindness.

Can India’s Flagship Public Health Insurance Scheme Do What it Promises?

PMJAY promised to fix India's patchy heathcare coverage and reduce hospitalisation costs for the poor. Four years into its existence, the scheme needs to pause expansion, learn, and consolidate.

Do We Know Enough to Vaccinate Children against Covid-19 Now?

We need more information on the safety, immunogenicity and effectiveness of vaccines among children to be able to formulate a proper evidence-based policy; and we do not as yet know enough about the Omicron variant to change considerations of risk and benefit.

'Will Come if it is in Our Podu'

Importance of cultural safety for Adivasis in Covid-19 care
Why do health workers often take the punitive route to obtain compliance from marginalised communities? How can we build cultural sensitivity into our public health practice? A story of the Solega group of Adivasis and how they related to Covid care.

The Deadly Fever

A people’s history of the influenza epidemic in India
"The history of influenza serves as a reminder of how Indians & individuals across the Global South have long experienced the ravages of epidemics, and how marginalised peoples across the globe made meaning from the devastation as they struggled for survival."

Healthcare in India: Towards an Agenda for Change

Covid-19 has shown that we must abandon unscientific medical practices, integrate what is useful in traditional medicine into a modern system, intelligently plan our health workforce and move towards a medical care delivery system financed by taxes.

Epidemiology of 'Waves' in a Pandemic and What We Could do to Dampen Them

The 'waves' of Covid-19 have become a part of everyday concern. How are these waves created? An epidemiologist discusses the public health social social measures that must be taken to prevent another build-up and the warning signs that we should monitor.

Is it a Case of 'Meat-versus-Planet'? Lessons for the Global South

Claims that the livestock sector is a high emitter of greenhouse gases have led to calls for moving towards plant-based diets. These prescriptions rest on flawed assumptions; they also ignore the nutritional needs of the working poor in the Global South.

Learning from the Mumbai 'Model'

Decentralisation and data analytics in dealing with the pandemic
The success of the ‘Mumbai Model’ in managing the second wave of the pandemic shows the importance of decentralisation, and the salience of involving a wide range of stakeholders and relying on data analytics.

Mumbai’s Peripheral Hospitals in the First Wave of Covid-19

Mumbai’s peripheral hospitals that form the spine of multi-speciality care for the city’s suburban population coped well with the demands unleashed by the first wave of Covid-19, which helped prepare them for the second wave that hit the city in 2021.

In Dubious Battle: Ramdev versus the Indian Medical Association

The Ramdev-IMA skirmish is more of a turf war based on perceived insults, than about upholding science or attacking obscurantism. It is a sideshow of a fake quarrel that has distracted us again from the crisis in healthcare that India faces.

Women and Contraceptive Decision-Making in Kerala

Kerala's below-replacement fertility figures obscure the poor awareness of contraceptive methods amongst women, pointing to the unfinished task of promoting independent and informed reproductive choices.

Band-Aids for Bullet Wounds

Why has the second wave devastated India and what lies ahead?
The brutal advent of Covid-19’s second wave in India was not unforeseen. But claims of an ‘Indian exceptionalism’ lulled politician, policymakers, and the public into complacency.

Dr Pradip Bijalwan: An Unsung Journey for an Equal World

Many health workers have given their lives working tirelessly for the Covid-19 ill; Dr. Pradip Bijalwan was one of them. His journey was different: he had given his life caring for the under-privileged and he died caring for the homeless of Delhi.

Is the Pandemic the Wake-up Call We Need on the Drug Regulatory Process?

Sometimes it is the power of lobbies rather than Science that is now driving approval of new drugs, as seen in the questionable clearance to a few Covid-19 drugs; people end up willing to pay anything for these drugs though it is not certain that they work.

Vaccine Conundrums

The government lost an opportunity to dampen the second wave but it should at least protect us from the third wave. For that it needs to revise its ‘liberalised’ vaccine policy, which with its array of complicated procedures will not aid rapid vaccination.

Estimating Covid-19 Fatalities in India

India's recorded Covid-19 fatalities are a gross underestimate. A more accurate assessment, from careful interpretation of available date and of international trends, is needed to better respond to the pandemic.

What has Gone Wrong with India’s Vaccination Programme?

In the middle of a virulent second wave, India finds itself staring at shortages that will delay vaccinating its 45+ population well beyond August. If only the government had not thought it was infallible and had been less complacent in its planning.

Planning the Family, Planning the Nation

India’s family planning programme advertised the small middle-class family as a means to develop the nation. But its top-down approach meant that sterilisations became the default contraceptive option for poor and working class women. This legacy persists.

The Wages of Low Public Spending on Child Nutrition Programmes

Stagnant government funding and mis-allocation of available resources in recent years are together resulting in limited improvements in levels of child nutrition, anaemia and mortality.
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