ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Women's HealthSubscribe to Women's Health

Demand-side Financing and Promotion of Maternal Health

Use of demand-side financing has become increasingly common in maternal healthcare and India has been a leading example with large-scale programmes such as the Janani Suraksha Yojana and Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana. This paper undertakes a systematic review of the evidence to consider how demand-side financing has been used and whether there has been any impact on maternal health service utilisation, maternal health, or other outcomes. The findings suggest that a relatively narrow focus on achieving targets has often overburdened health facilities, while inadequate referral systems and unethical practices present overwhelming barriers for women with obstetric complications. The limited evidence available also suggests that little has been done to challenge the low status of poor women at home and in the health system.

Recency of Birth as Marker of Future Fertility

The persistence of high growth rates of the population in a number of states is calling to question the wisdom and feasibility of integrating family planning programmes in a larger reproductive health package as recommended in the National Population Policy 2000. There is an apparent inconsistency between the needs of the state governments to regulate population growth and fertility levels as part of developmental strategies and the requirements for implementation of family planning programmes as a part of a larger reproductive health package. In this article an attempt is made to reconcile this inconsistency through a birth-based approach to contraception which is feasible, humane and effective in terms of its fertility impact. The data from NFHS-2 are used to empirically validate the approach.

Unsafe Abortions and Women's Health

Although unsafe and illegal abortions claim many lives and severely damage women's health, international conventions on providing safe facilities for women have not had much success. A rights-based perspective on the issue.

Curious Decision

Some things never change. In a typically nonchalant move, ignoring past debate, medical and social facts, the health ministry has recently announced plans to introduce Net En, an injectable contraceptive on a trial basis in select medical colleges around the country. This is, no doubt, is a prelude to introducing it in the public health system, a move that the health ministry has long contemplated but has hesitated to make for a variety of reasons, not least of all, the opposition to it by women's and health groups....


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