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  • Jashodhara
    http://www.thehindu.com/health/article2503720.ece Do away with two child norms: Universal Health Coverage report AARTI DHAR SHARE
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 2, 2011
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      http://www.thehindu.com/health/article2503720.ece

      Do away with two child norms: Universal Health Coverage report

      AARTI DHAR
      A mother arriving with new born
baby to receive health care at a government hospital in
Bangalore. File photo
      The HinduA mother arriving with new born baby to receive health care at a government hospital in Bangalore. File photo

      Advocating empowerment of girls and women to enable them to realise their health rights, a high-level expert group on Universal Health Coverage has suggested that conditionalities be removed from all programmes, particularly the two-child norm for maternity or other benefits, as they have little or no control over their reproductive rights.

      The report has called for improving women's access to health services, focussed on strengthening their role in health care provision and building up the health system capacity to recognise, measure, monitor and address gender concerns.

      The expert group, headed by Srinath Reddy, president of the Public Health Foundation of India, has said access to health services should go beyond maternal and child health. Greater financial and human resources should be allocated to address nutritional anaemia, sexual and reproductive health (including reproductive tract infection, sexually-transmitted infections, safe abortion, contraceptive care, uterine prolapse, menstrual disorders, and malaria and tuberculosis during pregnancy), domestic and gender-based violence and critical mental health services especially depression.

      The group has called for improving working conditions for women especially by addressing their concerns about safety, transportation, housing, hygiene and sanitation as well as maternity benefits.

      Importantly, it has focussed on expanding women's career through time-bound programmes to increase their number in higher positions in health programmes and ensuring that all health management structures have mandated representation of women professionals, including nurses.

      The group reposes faith in community-based programmes such as day-care centres, palliative care, domiciliary care, and ambulatory care that can support home-based health care.

      ‘Health for all'

      Set up by the Planning Commission, the group was asked to develop a blueprint and investment plan for meeting the human resource requirements to achieve health for all by 2010 and rework the physical and financial norms needed to ensure quality, universal reach and access to health care services, particularly in under-served areas, and to indicate the relative roles of private and public service providers.

      The group, in its draft report presented to the Commission, has said all health data are disaggregated by sex and age, and reported and analysed on this basis whatever the source of data. Importantly, it has said, the contribution of households and women to the health sector has to be accounted for under the proposed National Health Accounts. This is to arrive at a realistic estimate of their contribution, which goes unpaid at the household level.

      Safety for working women

      The expert group has called for improving the working conditions for women, addressing their concerns about safety, transportation, housing, hygiene and sanitation as well as maternity benefits. Importantly, it has focussed on expanding women’s career through time-bound programmes to increase the number of women in higher positions in health programmes and ensuring that all health management structures have mandated representation of women professionals. The expert group reposed faith in community based programmes such as day-care centres, palliative care, domiciliary care, and ambulatory care that can support home based health care provision.

      Instituted by the Planning Commission, the expert group was asked to develop a blueprint and investment plan for meeting human resource requirements and to rework the physical and financial norms needed to ensure quality, universal reach and access of health care services, particularly in under-served areas.



      -- 
      (Ms) Jashodhara Dasgupta
      Coordinator
      SAHAYOG
      +91-9910203477
      www.sahayogindia.org
      
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