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Macalester College

Publication Date

Spring 2013

Program Name

India: Health and Human Rights

Abstract

The present study seeks to determine how girls and women who have suffered from neurological sequelae after a Japanese encephalitis (JE) infection are marginalized in the Northern Terai region of Uttar Pradesh, India. Societal and familial values were studied in comparison to behaviors towards a neurologically disabled girl after a JE infection in order to determine how women infected with JE are excluded from cultural practices and norms. The 4 study was conducted in the Northern Terai region of Uttar Pradesh in the districts of Bahraich and Shrawasti under the guidance of DEHAT and Dr. Jitendra Chaturvedi. Semi-structured interviewing was utilized in gathering primary information; informants included parents of JE infected children, teachers, community leaders, and medical professionals. It was found that women suffering from neurological sequelae following a JE infection were excluded from the institution of marriage, inflicting a burden onto the natal family. This exclusion from marriage strips a woman of her feminine identity as perceived by the community. Hinduism was additionally identified as assigning blame to the victim through the notion of karma. The incomprehensiveness of India’s JE Vaccination Campaign denies coverage and information of JE to remote populations, thus creating a need to empower and educate communities on both their rights and how to break the transmission cycle.

Disciplines

International Public Health | Medicine and Health Sciences | Mental and Social Health | Public Health | Public Health Education and Promotion | Women's Health | Women's Studies

 

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