Patterns of regional disparity in health outcomes in India
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India has experienced a period of unprecedented economic growth over the past few decades, credited with lifting millions out of poverty. The high rates of economic growth, however, have not led to commensurate improvements in human development indicators. While health outcomes, an important dimension of human development, have improved in India, the rate of improvement has been slow. Moreover, health outcomes vary substantially across different regions of India. The disparity in health outcomes will play a crucial role in India’s future development and necessitates new ways for targeting and evaluating policy programs. This report analyses regional disparities in health outcomes using sub-national development indicators at state, district and demographic zone level. The first chapter of the report provides an overview of health systems in India and creates a framework for understanding health disparity in India. The second chapter uses spatial mapping techniques to identify regional patterns of health disparity. The analysis uses district level indicators from health surveys and census data. The third chapter uses sub-national data to analyze infant mortality rates in India according to state and demographic zones. Along with regional variation the report also explores gender differentials and rural-urban divide in health outcomes. The final section of the report concludes by highlighting the findings, delineating a course for future research and suggesting policy measures necessary for achieving improved health outcomes.