Stories: India

  • The Unintended Consequences of India’s War on Sex Selection

    Many poor women now find that they can’t access second-trimester abortions at all. The policy’s implementation raises a crucial question: “Can you promote the rights of women and girls and also restrict their family choices?” Dr. Meena Kharat has performed abortions in India and trained other doctors how to perform them for more than...

  • Drug Deals: How Big Pharma and the Indian Government Are Letting Millions of Patients Down

    THE DELHI OFFICE of the controller general of patents, designs and trademarks is situated in the neighbourhood of Dwarka Sector 14, a 45-minute drive from the capital’s centres of power. There is a placid air about the place, and on winter afternoons you’re likely to spot the odd group of junior employees sunning themselves on the...

  • What Abortions in India Can Teach Us About American Women’s Health

    Last fall—before the Center for Medical Progress released its video attack on Planned Parenthood, before Cecile Richards testified before Congress, before Congress voted to defund the health care organization—I was in India, watching a woman have an abortion. The woman — I’ll call her Meena — was having a safe, legal procedure in a...

  • How 3 Simple Words Are Changing an Indian Town

    Shyam Sundar Paliwal is a tree hugger. He pets trees as he walks by them. He points out the ones for which he holds particular affection. Ask him for a photo and he immediately wraps his burly arms around the nearest trunk. Where he lives, in an Indian village called Piplantri, that's easy to do — there are trees...

  • Why IUD Access in India Falls Short

    Shilpi, 25, has two young daughters and wants to wait at least five years before she tries for a son. She uses birth control pills, which she gets alternately from her accredited social health activist (ASHA), a community health worker in her rural village in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, or from the local community health center. But the...

  • Are These Women the Key to Safer Abortions in India?

    Geeta doesn't remember exactly where it was that a girl she knew threw away her baby. She's also not sure if the mother of a childhood friend went to jail or not after she tossed two infants, her ninth and 10th daughters, into the canal. But she does remember the day the woman in the slum stuck the...

  • Why South Africa’s Health Minister Is So Worried About India Caving in to Big Pharma

    The South African health minister Aaron Motsoaledi, in an exclusive interview to Scroll, said that he was extremely "scared and worried" about the possibility of pro-industry changes in India’s intellectual property rights regime. For decades, India has been at the forefront of a legal battle to make lifesaving drugs available at affordable prices for much of the...

  • South Africa Aims to Detect Every TB Patient, While a Million Cases in India Slip Through the Cracks

    This year on March 24, on the occasion of World Tuberculosis Day, global attention was sharply drawn towards the disease when British Prime Minister David Cameron launched a report by an expert panel on anti-microbial resistance. The outlook was dire – over the next 35 years, 75 million people are likely to lose their lives to drug resistant TB, and by 2050, the infection...

  • South Africa Moves Towards Universal Health Care, While India Stagnates

    South Africa's bold new proposal for universal health coverage in the face of stiff opposition from private health care providers is likely to become a model for providing sustainable health care for much of the developing world. The proposal, called National Health Insurance, or NHI for short, has set off quite a debate within South African society. But health...

  • South Africa Gives School Children Access to Condoms, While India Still Debates Sex Education

    In a drastic measure to combat sexually transmitted infections, the South African government in July launched a programme giving primary school children as young as 10 years old access to condoms. Gazetted in May this year and implemented by the department of basic education, the policy will introduce mandatory sex education from primary school to high school. Students between...