A Case for Focussing on Mnch Efforts for the Urban Poor in India

Topics: Population, Poverty, Slum Pages: 3 (1075 words) Published: July 31, 2013
A case for focussing on MNCH efforts for the urban Poor in India. Siddharth Agarwal Growing urbanization in India, as elsewhere, is rapidly increasing the urban poor population. As per the Census in 2001, 27.8 percent of the country’s population, comprising 285.4 million, people lived in urban areas. Projections estimate the number at about 335 million in 20081. It is expected that by the year 2030, more than half (55 percent) of the country’s population will live in cities (UNFPA, 2007 State of World Population, Unleashing the Potential of Urban Growth. www.unfpa.org/swp. ). Growing urbanization in India has led to an increase in the share of poverty in urban areas and the urban poor are the fastest growing segment of the Indian population, with migration, expansion of city limits and natural growth expected to increase from an estimated 802 - 1003 million in 2005 to 202 million in less than 15 years.4 (UN-HABITAT, 20062007. State of the World’s Cities Report, London: EarthScan.). Health of Urban Poor Far Worse than Urban Averages: The urban poor are vulnerable to many health risks as a consequence of living in conditions characterized by cramped, low-quality housing with limited sanitation, limited access to affordable quality health care, widespread illiteracy, social isolation, and a lack of negotiating capacity to demand improved public services. This is reflected in their health outcomes. Health indicators among urban poor are much worse than urban averages and generally similar to those of rural populations. For example, The National Family Health Survey - 35 (2005-06) and other sources show: The urban poor have an infant mortality rate of 54.6 in comparison to 35.5 of urban nonpoor and 41.7 of urban average. Despite proximity to specialty hospitals, 56% of slum children are born at home without skilled birth attendants, increasing the risk of neonatal and maternal mortality. Only 40% of urban poor children received all recommended vaccinations, comparable...
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