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Equity, Not Just Economic Growth, Needed For Child Health In India

March 16, 2011

In this week’s PLoS Medicine, K. Srinath Reddy from the Public Health Foundation of India discusses new research published last week by Malavika Subramanyam, S V Subramanian, and colleagues that found no link between economic growth and child undernutrition rates in India, concluding that direct investments in appropriate health interventions may be necessary to improve child health in India.

Dr. Reddy (not involved in the research study) emphasizes that poor health is not only the result of poverty but also of inequality, which manifests in many ways. He says that “developing countries like India should not assume that economic growth will automatically translate into improved child nutrition and health. Measures for enhancing equity through inclusive growth, action on social determinants of health, and specific programs for improved early life nutrition will be needed if undernourished children are not to become the face of an economically advancing India.”

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