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Leaving no one behind on the road to Universal Health Coverage: The Kerala story

Guest Edited by Devaki Nambiar (George Institute for Global Health, India), Rakhal Gaitonde (Achutha Menon Centre for Health System Sciences, India), Anish TS (Government Medical College Manjeri, India) and Hari Sankar (George Institute for Global Health, India)

International Journal for Equity in Health is calling for submissions to our Collection on Leaving no one behind on the road to Universal Health Coverage: The Kerala story. The south Indian state of Kerala has long been considered a global exemplar of providing good health care at low cost to its people. The pursuit of equity, it can be said, has been a refrain in Kerala’s public policy for decades, but with myriad approaches (such as those linking equity to opportunity, while others frame it as an access issue), various intended and unintended effects, and shifts in health and welfare system properties and roles of a range of stakeholders in government, in local leadership and beyond. Drawing from a decade-long engagement in the state and a five-year study on health inequalities, this special issue takes equity as its starting point and seeks to feature perspectives, research, and on-the-ground reflections of those who have been part of this history. We aim to voice, encourage critical reflection on Kerala’s equity journey, and draw out lessons for other states in the Indian union as well as relevant contexts across the globe. This special issue will feature up to 12 papers – a combination of perspectives/commentaries, research articles, notes from the field and other papers – that describe health equity in the state. We will ensure the representation of implementers, researchers, and civil society. The papers will be supported by the India Alliance grant held by one of the editors.

Topics of interest are:

  • Gender inequalities in health exposures, burden, access to as well as costs and consequences of seeking healthcare
  • Equity concerning migration from and to Kerala as well as migrants in Kerala
  • The health of tribal populations
  • The health of caste and religious minorities in Kerala
  • Inclusiveness in COVID-19 task force planning 
  • Non-communicable disease management and equity 
  • Issues in providing Maternal and Child Health services in tribal areas of Kerala
  • The progress of an inclusive “End TB” strategy in Kerala 
  • Urban health 
  • Trans rights and inclusion 
  • Palliative care in Kerala
  • Inequality analysis and research methods
  • The ethics of fieldwork with vulnerable populations
  • A description of Institutional mechanisms to ensure equity in healthcare access
  • Policy analyses of Nipah and COVID-19 management by the state and central government 
  • Women and leadership perspectives Research/Perspective
  • Implementation experience of health programs ensuring equitable access at the district level
  • Multisectoral action and convergence in service of health and social development

The call for abstracts is now open, and abstract submission is due January 15th 2023. Please send abstracts as an attachment to the Health Equity Action Lab - Authors of selected abstracts are expected to be notified by 30th January 2023 with enough time to make submissions of full manuscripts by 15th April 2023. Those who do not wish to have abstracts reviewed with feedback can also submit full manuscripts by 15th April 2023.

We aim to have the special issue launched by September 2023.

If authors have any questions or need further information, please contact Dr Hari Sankar at  

  1. Increasing financial risk protection is a key feature of Universal Health Coverage and the path towards health for all. Publicly Funded Health Insurance Schemes (PFHIS) have been considered as one of the pathw...

    Authors: Santosh Kumar Sharma, Jaison Joseph, Hari Sankar D and Devaki Nambiar
    Citation: International Journal for Equity in Health 2023 22:197
  2. Negotiating anti-Tuberculosis treatment is a complicated process comprising daily consumption of multiple medications at stipulated times and dosages, as well as periodic follow-ups and investigations, may not...

    Authors: B Aravind Chandru and Ravi Prasad Varma
    Citation: International Journal for Equity in Health 2023 22:176
  3. The Government of Kerala in 2017 launched the Aardram Mission with the aim to revamp public health delivery in the State. A key strategy under the mission was its focus on comprehensive primary health care to ...

    Authors: Sreenidhi Sreekumar
    Citation: International Journal for Equity in Health 2023 22:165