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Mother and Child

  • where would it invest ?
  • relatively low-cost maternal and early-life health and nutrition programs offer very high returns on investment because:
    • (i) the most rapid period of physical and cognitive development occurs in the womb, so in utero and early-life health conditions significantly affect outcomes in adulthood;
    •  the success of subsequent interventions—schooling and training—are influenced by early-life development.
    • India generally under-performs on maternal and child health indicators: pre-pregnancy weights and weight-gain during pregnancy are both low. India is already halfway through its demographic dividend, and taking full advantage requires a healthy and educated population.
  • Investing In tomorrow’s IndIa today

    • Two reasons explain the extraordinary persistence of early-life conditions
      • First, the most rapid period of physical and cognitive development in a person’s life occurs in the womb, and epidemiological evidence suggests that a mother’s health and nutritional status significantly affect the biological development of the foetus
      •  Second  there may be “dynamic complementarities” inhuman capital accumulation, because earlylife conditions affect cognitive development
  • capitalising on the demographic dividend accounted for onethird of the East Asian growth miracle
  • age population share will continue rising till about 2035-2040, meaning that India has another 25 years—one more generation—to exploit this dividend.
  • Demography in other words is opportunity not destiny.
    •  Women in India gain only about 7 kilograms during pregnancy, which is substantially less than the 12.5- 18 kg gain that the WHO recommends for underweight women
      • the cash transfer could be paired with education about how much weight a woman should gain during pregnancy and why weight gain during pregnancy is important.
      •  cash transfer should be given in a single, lump-sum payment early in pregnancy to avoid delays, reduce administrative costs, and ensure that it is possible for the household to spend the
      • money on better food during pregnancy.
      • In case of open defecation : A big challenge here as in many other instances is deeply entrenched norms and facilitating behavioural change.