‘I’ve seen a dead child in the same hospital bed as a living child as there’s no space’

WaterAid/Ronny Sen

“I have seen filthy toilets, no water, shabby buildings practically falling apart, cobwebs, lab equipment and drugs strewn about [in India’s primary health centres],” shares Dr. Vandana Prasad, national convener for the Public Health Resource Network (PHRN), a voluntary network of public health practitioners striving to promote ‘Health for All’.

Over two decades of experience as a paediatric clinician, social activist and social worker in the field of public health, have given Dr. Prasad a wealth of knowledge about various aspects of the Indian healthcare system. She has also been associated with several health initiatives such as Right to Food Campaign and the People’s Health Movement (Jan Swasthya Abhiyaan), and has served as Member (Child Health), National Commission for Protection of Child Rights in the Indian government.

Youth Ki Awaaz recently caught up with Dr. Prasad at PHRN’s office in South Delhi for a conversation around her understanding of India’s public healthcare system and its shortcomings, and what needs to be done to turn the tide. Here are edited excerpts from the interview. Read more

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