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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 137  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 721-727

Human rights approach to maternal & child health: Has India fared well?

International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai, India

Correspondence Address:
F Ram
Director & Senior Professor, International Institute for Population Sciences Govandi Station Road, Deonar, Mumbai 400 088
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 23703339

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Background & objectives: The objectives of the study were to examine: right to access maternal health; right to access child health; and right to access improved water and sanitation in India. Methods: We used large-scale data sets like District Level Household Survey conducted in 2007-08 and National Family Health Surveys conducted during 1992-93, 1998-99, and 2005-06 to fulfil the objectives. The selection of the indicator variables was guided by the Human Rights' Framework for Health and Convention of the Rights of the Child- Articles 7, 24 and 27. We used univariate and bivariate analysis along with ratio of access among non-poor to access among poor to fulfil the objectives. Results: Evidence clearly suggested gross violation of human rights starting from the birth of an individual. Even after 60 years of independence, significant proportions of women and children do not have access to basic services like improved drinking water and sanitation. Interpretation & conclusions: There were enormous socio-economic and residence related inequalities in maternal and child health indicators included in the study. These inequalities were mostly to the disadvantage of the poor. The fulfilment of the basic human rights of women and children is likely to pay dividends in many other domains related to overall population and health in India.

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