This article first appeared in the Mint. The views are of the author(s).
The death of children in the recent Gorakhpur tragedy has drawn significant attention towards the state of public health institutions in Uttar Pradesh (UP). While much of the focus remained only on Gorakhpur, our analysis shows that within the state, the public health infrastructure is far worse than Gorakhpur in most districts. We have developed an index of public health infrastructure for each district of India by combining measures of quantity and quality of public health infrastructure available. According to this index, Gorakhpur ranks 19 out of 71 districts (census 2011) in Uttar Pradesh. This implies that the disease in the public health system of UP is much worse than symptoms like Gorakhpur reveal.
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