Congratulations followed last week’s announcement that India had eliminated maternal and neonatal tetanus, but India still needs to take more steps to protect the health of girls and women.
The country is one of the few nations where under-5 deaths are higher among girls than boys, notes Geeta Rao Gupta, UNICEF deputy executive director.
The problem: Treatment for girls isn’t a priority. Unicef data shows only 40% of infants brought to its newborn care units (where treatment is free) are girls.
Gupta calls for “a national multisectorial programme to address gender inequality.” She adds: “Social attitudes change, but you need to create the legal, economic and social environment to make it happen.”