Karra Publishes Op-ed on Maternal & Child Health Amid COVID

Mahesh Karra, Assistant Professor of Global Development Policy at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University and Associate Director of the Human Capital Initiative at the Global Development Policy Center, published an op-ed on the reduction and suspension of health programs related to maternal and child health during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In the article, titled “Prioritising maternal and child health in the COVID-19 era,” Karra discusses the adverse effects that diverting health resources during the pandemic can have on women of reproductive age and children, particularly those in low-and-middle-income countries. Citing research from Johns Hopkins University, Karra stated that even the most optimistic projections with declines in service coverage could result in over 250,000 additional child deaths and 12,200 additional maternal deaths over 6 months. He suggests that, as the world transitions to a post-pandemic future, it may be equally important to prioritize resources to improve access to routine and preventative health services and not just COVID-19 preventatives.

An excerpt:

It is clear that the pandemic has and will only continue to create more barriers to access and health care-seeking, particularly in contexts where resources for women and children are scarce and where health systems are already constrained. If the delivery of routine maternal and child health care is disrupted, or worse, halted altogether, many women and children will die. The longer coverage gaps persist, the more lives will be lost even after the COVID-19 pandemic ends.

The full op-ed can be read on Open Access Government‘s website.

Mahesh Karra’s academic and research interests are broadly in development economics, health economics, quantitative methods, and applied demography. His research utilizes experimental and non-experimental methods to investigate the relationships between population, health, and economic development in low- and middle-income countries. Read more about Professor Karra on his faculty profile.