India’s Progress In Health Outcomes Dismal: UN Report

By Moderator July 13, 2019 12:57

While there has been an improvement in poverty rates in India in the last 10 years, progress in health outcomes in the country seems to be lagging, according to the 2018 global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

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  • India spends a total of 3.9 percent of GDP (including public and private expenditure) on health outcomes, the second-lowest compared to other Asian countries in the middle-income group. While Myanmar spends 4.9 per cent of GDP, Nepal spends 6.9 and Pakistan spends 2.7 per cent.
    • There is still a long way to go before the target of public health expenditure is achieved and the central allocation for health for 2019-20 was far short of the target,” said the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in its latest report.
    • “In states, health spending as a percentage of total states expenditure ranged from 3.29 to 5.32 percent which shows that this needs considerable augmentation,” CAG said in its report.
    • It reminded the government for the need to augment budgetary allocation on public health.

Key Findings

  • India (37.9 percent) has the second-highest stunting rate followed by Pakistan (45 percent), among the middle-income countries in Asia. Myanmar (29.4 percent), Nepal (36 percent) and Bangladesh (36.2 percent) have lower rates.
    • The trajectories to achieve targets in reducing stunting suggest that a rate of reduction of 4.9 percent is required to achieve the World Health Summit targets (40 percent reduction in stunting prevalence till 2025) or the targets set by UN-mandated Sustainable Development Goal by 2030
  • The MPI report paints a worrying picture of the prevalance of child mortality in India. The under-five mortality rate in the country still stands at 43 per 1,000 live births.
    • Most of these deaths in India happened from preventable causes, finds a study based upon data from eight states in the country.
    • It also showed that the survival of children from the same illness varies between different states, indicating that it is linked to equitable access and consistent availability of services in those states.
    • While Myanmar, Pakistan have shown no improvement, Nepal and Bangladesh were successful in bringing down their respective rates to 34 per 1,000 live births each.
  • Further, malaria and tuberculosis (TB) also show India in a poor light, according to the UN report. India scores the worst among all the four Asian nations in the middle-income group.
    • As many as 18.8 persons per 1,000 people live in areas vulnerable to malaria in India. Bangladesh has the least (0.6 per 1,000 people) number of people living in such areas, while Pakistan has the highest (10.6 per 1,000 people).
    • Myanmar has 7.2 persons per 1,000 people and Nepal accounts for 0.9 persons per 1,000 people in areas vulnerable to malaria.
  • In India, TB affects 211 people per 10,000 people exposed to the disease. This also includes new and relapse cases of TB stated the report.
    • Pakistan has 268 people per 10,000 people exposed to the disease, Myanmar 361 and Nepal 154.


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By Moderator July 13, 2019 12:57