Budget 2018: India's healthcare crisis is holding back national potential

India has the highest population of children stunted (low height for age) due to malnutrition, at 48.2 million

Swagata Yadavar | IndiaSpend


India has the world’s highest population of stunted children–short for their age–and the country’s failing primary healthcare and overburdened tertiary care are ill-equipped to handle the crisis of childhood malnutrition, leaving India unable to fulfil its national potential.

This is the backdrop against which Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present his government’s last full budget before the general elections in 2019.

Although India’s stunting rate has declined nearly 10 percentage points in a decade–from 48% in 2005-06 to 38.4% in 2015-16, an estimated 48 million Indian children are still stunted. At a time of declining economic growth and jobs, these children may have a greater disadvantage over those in other emerging nations with lower malnutrition and better healthcare.


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First Published: Jan 30 2018 | 8:23 AM IST

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