PPP is an Avenue That Needs to Be Aggressively Tapped
Friday, March 13, 2015
Alisha Moopen, Director, Aster DM Healthcare, as a young entrepreneur working for improving women’s health, feels that in India there is an immense need for continued innovation in this sphere. She talks about the need for the government, private sector and NGOs to integrate their efforts to strengthen the health system for women in India, in an interaction with Raelene Kambli
Women in India are depicted as goddesses and the country is called as Bharat Mata or Mother India. It constitutes this family of men and women of diverse cultures, religions and beliefs.
Despite this philosophical status for women there is unfortunately an inherent inequality towards women in India, from conception to death. Female foeticide, although actively combated by the PCPNDT Act, which aims to prohibit sex determination prenatally, still remains a problem in many regions in India. The deeply ingrained patriarchal societal norms here glorify the birth of sons, potential wage-earners of the future, while daughters are considered a burden for whom dowry will have to be arranged.
It is the combined effect of the denial of education to women and the corresponding attitude towards them that forms a vicious cycle which gets passed through the generations. As resources are stretched in poorer families even proper access to healthcare is not given along with education to the girls in the family, which are two building blocks to improving their status in society as well as improve their health profile.
Illiterate girls are married off as adolescents and bear multiple children without adequate spacing or awareness of how to provide for themselves or their offsprings when it comes to basics such as nutrition, immunisation and accessing primary healthcare. So in effect, the babies and children suffer, boys and girls, without discrimination as mothers are not really taught how to care for themselves and their children in a healthy manner under their existing circumstances.
I believe that although this is still a very prevalent problem, there are remedies campaigns and general awareness drives in society. If done effectively and in a focused manner, it can go a long way to alleviate these problems.
What is the most effective way to help these women access quality care, even in rural and low resource settings?