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Health Budget must look beyond Covid mitigation -Sourindra Mohan Ghosh

-Hindustan Times This entails addressing prevailing systemic deficiencies along with managing the added burden of Covid-19. India’s health sector requires a two-fold intervention by the government. The extraordinary situation created by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has exposed the vulnerabilities of our fragile health-care system, demands an equally extraordinary intervention by the government. The expectation from the Union Budget 2021-22 is for the central government to lead from the front in the health...

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For a smarter food security programme -Vijay Avinandan, Alok Mishra and Subham Awasthi

-The Indian Express Evidence-driven approaches, including those tried out in Mexico and Brazil, can remove shortcomings in India’s nutrition schemes. The findings of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) have come as a reality check, and even experts are trying to make sense of it. The survey shows that food security and nutrition in India have worsened since the last NFHS round (2015-16). Among the 22 states and Union Territories (UTs) for...

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Travails of ASHA Workers During Covid-19 Call for Renewed Focus on Public Health -Deepanshu Mohan, Jignesh Mistry, Advaita Singh, Sunanda Mishra and Shivani Agarwal ASHA workers and other community healthcare workers have experienced extra working hours, loss of pay and social apathy during the pandemic. Walking into 2021, if there was one positive to be identified with the large-scale outbreak of a pandemic in 2020 in India, and the rest of the developing world, it would have been this: a primary focus given by most governments and their executive agencies to improve healthcare services and...

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Govt must give ASHAs, Anganwadi volunteers rights, benefits due as workers -Neetha N

-The Indian Express Recognition of care work in the public sphere could also help in unsettling the gendered and unequal division of house work and unpaid care burden. Covid-19 has given visibility to Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) and Anganwadi workers — women “volunteers” attached to a government scheme or employed on a mission mode — who are frontline warriors in the battle against the pandemic. In India, there are about a...

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Covid-19 pushed 119-124 million into poverty: World Bank updates estimates

-Down to Earth The number of pandemic-induced new poor is forecast to rise to 143-163 million in 2021 The novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, which forced economies around the world to lock down last year, may have increased global poverty by 119 million-124 million, according to updated estimates by World Bank. This includes the 31 million people who would have moved out of poverty (measured at the international poverty line of $1.90, or...

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