Connect with us

Women’s Health

India’s nutrition crisis has widened during the pandemic – especially for women and children



Data from a recently published paper examining the effects of the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown by Jean Dreze and Anmol Somanchi reflects the dire state of the looming malnutrition crisis in India.

In a co-authored article around April 2020, we argued that the “hidden costs of this pandemic” (and the administrative response to it) are probably most evident in a) the psychosocial costs resulting from falling income, rising unemployment for India most strongly population group at risk; and b) the food distribution table among the lower social and economic groups (worst impact on women and children).

Dreze and Somanchi’s work, along with other recent empirical evidence, provides evidence of these two “hidden costs,” and even more so of the latter.

A troubling situation in India’s paradoxical food landscape, where obesity plagues India’s ultra-rich upper class and malnutrition at the bottom of the pyramid, can also be seen in the pre-pandemic era.

Malnourished mothers

Figures from the 4th National Family Health Survey show that 53.1% of all women between the ages of 15 and 49 are anemic. A shockingly high rate of malnourished mothers results in lightweight, malnourished babies and young children whose lack of food in the womb can have lifelong consequences for them and their families. Twenty-one percent of all children under the age of 5 remain unproductive or wasted (low weight to height), according to Indian Child Waste Statistics.

In 2017, the Government of India recognized the critical importance of supporting maternal health and childcare and launched the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana – a centrally sponsored conditional money transfer program.

Under the system, pregnant women and nursing mothers are entitled to 5,000 rupees for their first live birth, provided certain conditions are met. The cash incentive is paid in three installments, with the first 1,000 rupees awarded if the pregnancy is registered early at an Anganwadi center (often with the help of an accredited Social Health Activist or ASHA employee).

COVID warriors Anganwadi workers make regular home visits to areas that are difficult to access in order to take advantage of the various services within the scope of ICDS, i.e. counseling mothers on # preventive care, weighing pregnant women, # growth monitoring of children and #IFA administration.

– Art of Giving (@artofgiving_net) June 18, 2021

Once the beneficiary receives at least one antenatal exam, they will be eligible for the second installment (from Rs 2,000). The Union Government supplements this program with the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan, which offers all pregnant women free, universal prenatal care. The final installment (Rs 2,000) is paid after the child is born and vaccinated. Between fiscal years 2018 and 2020, nearly 1.75 Eligible Principal Beneficiaries received Rs 5,931.95 crores.

By making the money transfer conditional, the government hoped to motivate mothers to participate in basic (self) care for mothers and children. The money provided offers the expectant mothers financial support to meet their nutritional needs.

However, the implementation of such programs on the basis of the basis was often fraught with structural deficiencies. Initially, the efficiency of conditional cash transfers was questioned in view of the high administrative burden (or “bureaucratic overload”) associated with such factors as identifying eligible beneficiaries, targeting and monitoring payments to them, and ensuring the desired objectives are met actual implementation of a certain scheme.

In addition, complaints about late payments of “earmarked transfers” have intensified, especially since the pandemic.

Pandemic in focus

Shockingly, even after a year and a half since the pandemic harmed Indian citizens, especially the poor, the government’s fiscal priority in allocating more funding to existing programs is still shockingly low. The focus is only on providing grain, supported by the public distribution system, to the poorest, rather than supporting it with more funding for existing nutritional welfare programs.

In a rhetorical pitch to allocate most of the government funding to the pandemic, budget spending shows how the Union government has given up its social and financial responsibility to other equally serious health issues (click here for a discussion of the poor implementation of existing family planning measures during the pandemic ).

Existing Union-sponsored programs have been allocated around Rs.2,500 billion each year for the past two fiscal years. But in the 2021-22 fiscal year, the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan was merged with other programs under Mission Shakti for the protection and empowerment of women. By amalgamating the Rs 2,500 billion budget with other programs, the effective allocation of Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan has therefore been significantly reduced.

Given the logistical and administrative challenges of the pandemic, a recent study by IPE Global in Rajasthan state provides micro-snapshots of poor health and nutrition program implementation in places like Baran, Jhunjhunu, Jodhpur and Udaipur during the 2020 embargo period especially on the assessment of the state of maternal and child care in Rajasthan during the pandemic.

Visit of the #IPE Global Team to observe the #PLA meeting on Dietary Diversity for Maternal and Child Health in Tonk, Rajasthan. #Ekjut.

– Hari Sharma (@ harisharma235) August 4, 2018

Deterioration in health services

Observed ethnographic results from the report suggest that maternal and child health and nutrition programs have been suspended, with regular health services such as screenings, vaccinations, and child growth monitoring being discontinued for respondents across the state (similar to the situation across the country) . .

Meanwhile, reproductive health workers (ASHAs and midwives) struggled to provide adequate services to the public. Due to restricted mobility, most reproductive medicine workers were forced to work from home and physical tests and exams were not performed.

ASHA staff, Anganwadi staff and midwives conducted online counseling sessions and provided extra pills and contraceptives during home visits, but their services were also limited due to administrative delays and a lack of technically skilled resources (most staff did not even have one Smartphone for use).

Overloaded facilities

Inadequate personal protective equipment was provided to local health workers and most respondents’ families refused to seek physical assistance from these workers. We saw similar observations while working in the fields at our own center in Lucknow.

Hospitals and government health facilities were overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients and were unable to provide adequate delivery services for non-Covid-related treatments (including for high-risk pregnant women). With limited access to the high fees of private hospitals, many rural women were forced to opt for private delivery options, which proved economically burdensome and medically dangerous for their families.

These health professionals lead a PMSMA camp in the Jawalgera district of PHC Raichur, Karnataka and PHC Garbham, Vicianagram, Andhra Pradesh.

– UNICEF India (@UNICEFIndia) June 9, 2020

Further results from surveyed counties across Rajasthan show how the state government eventually made up for the time and loss of services in the early stages. Towards the end of 2020, maternal health indicators at both state and county levels were nearly the same as in 2019. Childcare became even more serious as the proportion of newborns weighing less than 2.5 kg in three out of four circles examined rose.

Amid falling incomes and a strained government health infrastructure, the robust functioning of Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan should be vital during a public health emergency. According to the IPE report, only 27% of registered beneficiaries received their three 2020 installments. A woman in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan said, “It has been more than eight months since I submitted my application. I even had my child, but not even received the first PMMVY payment. “

The conditions associated with each transfer made it difficult for most beneficiaries to receive their entitlements in a timely manner. Pregnant and nursing mothers have had difficulty accessing food when they need it most. In addition, the Rajasthani IPE results reported that despite meeting the conditions imposed on any legitimate money transfer, the highest beneficiaries did not receive their installment for months after the documents were submitted. The lack of direction and purpose is an important warning sign in assessing the success of such “condition-based” social programs.

There is a lot to do for the Union and the state governments in the future. Findings from the districts of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh as microcosmic case reflections show how conditional cash transfers are only effective to a limited extent in times of crisis. Systems like the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan are already faced with bureaucratic overload and excessive centralization in the proper management of claims.

There are also challenges in detail: for example, according to the original charter of Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan, the program is only eligible for women who are pregnant with their first child in the household, while mothers in the family who are pregnant with a second Child is not entitled to support under the scheme. The reasons for this are unknown.

It is also time that a renewed focus on improving access to health care in the community through technology-enabled, decentralized processes translates into a real vision and plan of action that will benefit the well-being of all key stakeholders involved, including the community’s recognized health workers. involve and ensure and treat their invaluable local work and contributions with dignity.

The authors thank Divya Balyan and Shipra Prakash along with her research team at IPE Global in Rajasthan for publishing their study and the reported results for this article. Insights into CNES ‘fieldwork in Uttar Pradesh can be found in the video essays by our visual storyboard team, which are available here.

Deepanshu Mohan is Associate Professor and Director, Center for New Economics Studies, Jindal School of Liberal Arts and Humanities, OP Jindal Global University.

Vanshika Shah and Advaita Singh are Senior Research Analysts at CNES.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Women’s Health

Why a federal judge’s DACA ruling matters for California



Good morning and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Monday the 26th of July. I’m Justin Ray, and I write from Palm Springs.

I remember going to Bar Lubitsch in West Hollywood sometime in 2019. A friend met people I had never met before. I remember taking part in a conversation with two or three others and someone making small talk brought up a woman who had changed careers and entered and dominated an area very different from this she was -level guitarist.

I remember saying, “I can’t imagine loving life enough to want to be good at something.”

When I think of my mental health journey, I think of this moment because I finally said what I always thought: that I’m not very happy. The truth is, life can be painful.

This could be related to the fact that I never felt a part of it. My race and sexuality created situations that made me feel alienated. My race is sometimes fetishized in dating apps and bars. Other times people have told me that it makes me unattractive to them. I have been criticized for the way I dress and the way I speak. I’ve also received negative comments because I’ve been gay all my life. These experiences left me thinking that I am not well suited for this world.

The pandemic certainly didn’t help. Stories of tragedy and preventable deaths are difficult to hear. Then the isolation was so brutal that even as a person who loathes social situations, I long for company. But I don’t talk about my mental health problems because I think it’s inappropriate. I have a job, a home and haven’t lost loved ones to COVID-19. So what right do I have to complain?

Why do I share that, you may ask. Well, for the first time in a long time, I am seriously considering therapy. And I suspect I’m not alone in feeling more depressed than usual. In October 2020, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that “41.2% of adults in California reported symptoms of anxiety and / or depressive disorder, compared to with 37.7% of US adults ”. and their work was difficult.

A recent story by columnist Frank Shyong on mental illness inspired me to use my platform to tell all of you, I’m not fine. And that’s fine.

Sometimes we are so busy with life that we don’t self-check and take stock of how it’s going. Sometimes we have distractions that prevent us from seeing some aspects of our life experience. I invite you to reflect on your life: are things okay? Are there aspects of your life that don’t go as planned? Are there any ways I can get help?

I am not a psychiatrist. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources out there: if you’ve never had therapy before, the concept can be a little daunting. But, as The Times says in a beginner’s therapeutic guide, it’s an opportunity to discuss what you are experiencing and how you are feeling in one place, in a place free of judgment. Hotlines are another resource for those going through a mental crisis. There are also more specialized resources for black people, LGBTQ people, our Indian friends, and so many other groups.

And even if you don’t get help, I hope that sharing my struggles will make you feel less alone.

If you or someone you know feels suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. Call 800-985-5990 for the disaster relief line.

And now this is what happened in California.

Note: Some of the websites we link to may limit the number of stories you can access without a subscription.

Vaccinated People Can Get Breakthrough Infections: How Concerned Should We Be? As coronavirus cases increase across the state and nation, reports of infections among those fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are attracting increasing attention. But how common are “breakthrough cases”? The fact is that vaccinations remain consistently effective where it matters: the protection against serious illnesses. The reporters Rong-Gong Lin II and Luke Money break everything up. Los Angeles times


Austin Beutner’s tenure as headmaster in LA was shaped more by crises than academic gains. Author Howard Blume explains how the former Wall Street executive with no education management experience ran the country’s second largest school district during troubled times. Beutner resigned when his contract expired on June 30th. Blume looks at two focal points during Beutner’s tenure (the pandemic and the six-day teachers’ strike in January 2019) to explain his legacy: “The pandemic really has destroyed any long-term vision.” He may have had it. “Los Angeles Times

Podcast “The Times”

Our new weekday podcast, moderated by columnist Gustavo Arellano, takes the audience beyond the headlines. Subscribe to Apple Podcasts and follow on Spotify.


The new California election would ban styrofoam food packaging nationwide. A coalition of environmental groups has qualified a statewide vote that requires plastic packaging sold in the state to be recycled or reusable. In addition, companies that make plastic packaging would have to reduce their sales volume in California by 25% by 2030. The measure will appear on California’s November 2022 ballot. Monterey Herald


A man seen in West Hollywood carrying an unconscious woman into a white van and driving away has been arrested and charged with kidnapping, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said Saturday. A gray-haired man was seen carrying the woman who had recently left a bar. As the van drove off, a witness stopped a passing Sheriff’s Department patrol car. Fernando Diaz, 50, was booked at 3:15 a.m. Friday and charged with kidnapping the crime. His lawyer details were not known. Los Angeles times


Last week, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) Accused Dr. Anthony Fauci effectively sent US tax dollars to China and lied to Congress about the project. Paul’s claims are based on some very specific assumptions, not all of which have been proven to be true. Reporter Melissa Healy has dealt with the allegations and separates fact from fiction. It also identifies a crucial “logical leap”. Los Angeles times

He couldn’t cope with the death of his fiancée. So he brought her back as an AI chatbot. Eight years after his fiancée died of rare liver disease at the age of 23, Joshua Borbeau, still grieving, began texting her using an artificial intelligence simulation. “Intellectually, I know it’s not really Jessica,” he later said, “but your feelings are not an intellectual thing.” San Francisco Chronicle Francisco


SoCal Olympians share inside views about their sports and the training that led them to the Tokyo Games. KCRW spoke to more than 10 Olympians from Southern California about their journey and passion for their sport. One athlete is Sarah Robles, a weightlifter from Desert Hot Springs: “The women consistently outperformed and outperformed the men. And it’s not a diss with the men, it just shows how strong our women’s team is at the moment and how well we are doing internationally. ”KCRW

Bay Area restaurant workers say customers misbehaved. “I’m seeing a huge increase in people who just forget to be human,” said Mina Makram, founder of the Palo Alto bakery Misfits Bakehouse. “People stayed home for a year and a half, but everyone in the service industry had our butts torn … and we’re getting that now.” SFGATE

Free online games

Get our free daily crossword, sudoku, word search and arcade games in our new game center at


Los Angeles: Cloudy, 79th San Diego: Overcast, 77th San Francisco: Cloudy, 67th San Jose: Sunny, 80th Great red wine weather. Fresno: Red hot again, 99.Sacramento: Burning down, 90.


Birthdays: Sandra Bullock was born on July 26, 1964. In 2019, she rented a home in Hollywood Hills for $ 22,000 a month. Lori Loughlin was born on July 28, 1964. She was released from prison in late December 2020 following the college admissions scandal.

If you have a memory or story about the Golden State, share it with us. (Please limit your story to 100 words.)

Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments to

Continue Reading

Women’s Health

Veera Health raises $3mn in funding led by Surge, Global Founders Capital



Veera Health, a digital health platform for women, has raised $ 3 million in a funding round jointly led by Sequoia Capital India and Global Founders Capital’s Surge. Y Combinator, co-founder of CloudNine Hospitals, Rohit MA, and Tinder India Head Taru Kapoor also took part in the financing round. Angel investors participating in the round included Benjamin Bryant, Ethan Perlstein, Holly Liu, Utsav Somani, and Walter Chen.

Veera Health is also supported by the global tech accelerator Y Combinator. The company’s first product is a digital therapy platform that helps women identify and navigate PCOS with a full range of medical care, nutritional therapy, lifestyle coaching and medical support.

Founded in August 2020 by sisters Shobhita and Shashwata Narain, Veera Health is dedicated to bridging the gap in access to quality health care for women by delivering scientific, advanced treatments through a seamless digital platform. The founders hope to raise awareness of women’s health needs and empower all women to take their wellbeing into their own hands.

“Unfortunately, the prevalence of PCOS in India is enormous, which makes PCOS a natural source of disease for Veera. Within a few days, Veera can diagnose, treat and reassure those women with PCOS who would otherwise still seek help or wonder . ” where to start, ”said Sean Doolan, partner at Global Founders Capital and co-head of the investment.

Veera Health’s first path to expanding access to health care is by focusing on PCOS. While one in five women in India is said to have the common chronic condition, fewer than 30% are clinically diagnosed. The variety of symptoms adds to the complexity – from irregular periods and weight gain to mood disorders, acne, and excessive body hair. If left untreated, it can lead to diabetes, infertility, and even endometrial cancer. Most women with PCOS waste years and tens of thousands of rupees hopping between doctors, diet plans, gyms, and unproven supplements without noticing a change in their symptoms.

“I was extremely frustrated with how long it took to get diagnosed with PCOS and get the right medical advice to manage my condition. Even after trying several doctors, I felt like I was groping in the dark about how to actually treat my symptoms. In the Indian context, too, there is definitely a lot of judgment. We hear story after story from our customers about being physically embarrassed or told to get married instead of treating PCOS, ”said Shobhita Narain, COO and Co-Founder.

The company’s subscription-based program is designed to solve the most frustrating problems with PCOS. Veera Health patients receive a holistic treatment plan administered by a team of doctors who specialize in PCOS, including gynecologists, nutritionists, dermatologists and mental health experts.

“Our vision is to start with PCOS and expand to other health conditions in women. As part of the target market ourselves, we understand the issues better than anyone and look forward to building something that we can use for ourselves in our lifetime, ”said Shashwata Narain, CEO and Co-Founder.

Each plan is customized based on the patient’s medical history, past procedures, and lifestyle preferences. A dedicated care manager also supports and adjusts the experience for the patient on their journey.

“Women’s health is a great intuitive space, and this unique focused approach by the Veera team has the ability to make a profound impact not only on identifying but also overcoming such health markers through early access, information, support and planning,” said Rohit MA, co-MA founder of the CloudNine group of maternity, child care and fertility clinics.

Prior to founding Veera Health, Shashwata helped McKinsey & Company grow consumer and healthcare companies. She holds an MBA from Wharton and studied data science at Yale University. Shobhita worked for several years at leading healthcare companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, Accenture Life Sciences and UnitedHealth and studied biology and psychology at Tufts University.

Veera Health is part of Surge’s fifth cohort of 23 companies who have developed new digital solutions to help businesses and individuals work, live and learn better in a rapidly evolving Southeast Asian landscape.

Continue Reading

Women’s Health

Gymnast MyKayla Skinner ‘Heartbroken’ After Ending Olympics Run Early – NBC10 Philadelphia



Unfortunately, it looks like MyKayla Skinner’s Olympic journey and gymnastics career has come to an abrupt end.

The 24-year-old gymnast and the oldest of the US women’s team competed as an Olympian for the first time on Sunday, July 25th. She took part in the qualifying round of the Tokyo Olympics as a lone fighter and not in a team event. In order to continue at the games, she had to end up in the top eight overall and one of the two best US gymnasts. She finished 10th

Skinner was seen crying when she received her scores, ESPN reported. Due to the strict COVID-19 protocols in Japan, the gymnast – who actually contracted the coronavirus earlier this year – has to leave the country within 48 hours of the meeting and is not allowed to cheer on her teammates from the stands during her Olympic Continue the journey, said the network.

“Heartbroken,” Skinner wrote on Twitter, “but I feel so humiliated and blessed for the amazing performance I had tonight! You all moved me to tears, thank you for being my greatest cheerleader! [kiss emoji] xoxo myk. “

She added: “#NeverGiveUp”.

Meet the US gymnasts competing in the Tokyo Olympics

For Skinner, a University of Utah athlete who finished fifth among the six members of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team, the road to the Tokyo Olympics was long and arduous. A native of Gilbert, Arizona, was not selected to compete in the 2012 Olympic Trials. In 2016 she was named a substitute for the Olympic Games in Rio, but was not given an official place on the US team.

She has also suffered from health problems in the past few months. Last December, Skinner injured her Achilles tendon. A month later, she contracted COVID-19 and was later hospitalized with coronavirus-related pneumonia.

Earlier this month, she announced on Instagram: “The Olympics will be my last gymnastics competition before I officially retire.”

She added that while she would no longer compete as a college athlete, she plans to return to the University of Utah to complete her degree.

There’s a small chance Skinner’s Olympic dream could go on. If one of her teammates can’t go to a final, she could take her place.

The performance of the US women’s gymnastics team on Sunday fell short of expectations. They finished second in the team competition and lost to Russia after having led the way in all Olympic Games and World Championships for the past decade.

Simone Biles, colleague from Team USA, five-time world champion and one of the best gymnasts of all time, was also disappointed with her own performance in qualifying, but made the cut. The 24-year-old athlete still has the chance to win six gold medals in the final of the women’s gymnastics team on Tuesday, July 27th. She expressed support for Skinner, who is three months older than her, after Sunday’s competition.

“So proud of this one,” Biles wrote on her Instagram story alongside a photo of the two hugging. “Nobody understands the hard work and dedication it takes to get back from college gymnastics and form an Olympic team. You did the damn thing! Thank you for reminding us that grannies can too! Thank you, for keeping the gym light-hearted and fun! I love you Ms. Olympian. “

Skinner replied, “Couldn’t have asked for a better grandma to exercise in the past two years. Thank you for pushing me and supporting me in everything. I love you sooo damn very much! OGs for life !! Now do your thing GOAT. “

Other Olympic gymnasts also expressed their support for Skinner.

“MyKayla, you made a whole team, a nation and many, many generations SO proud,” tweeted retired US gymnast and 2008 Olympic gold medalist Nastia Liukin. You’re an OLYMPIAN forever. “

Dominique Moceanu, who won a gold medal in the 1996 Olympics, wrote on Twitter: “You embodied the Olympic spirit when you represented yourself and Team USA Flag of United States with determination and passion.”

The 39-year-old added: “We were inspired by your Olympic trip!

Continue Reading