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Lasting impact on health from natural disasters, potential mechanisms andmitigating effects
Dhamija G.,
Published in Cambridge University Press
Exposure to extreme shocks in early life is found to have a lasting impact in adulthood. Exploiting the variation in exposure measured by age and intensity of an earthquake, we evaluate the impact of a 7.7MW earthquake in Gujarat, India, on the health stock of children who were in utero or below three years. Using the India Human Development Survey data from 2004-05 and earthquake intensity data, we find an affected girl child to be shorter by at least 2.5 cm at the age of 3-6 years. The earthquake seems to have destroyed the household infrastructures and health facilities, affecting the expecting mothers and newborn children. The households using services to meet nutritional needs of children and pregnant women seem to be least affected. Our findings recommend faster reconstruction activities and highlight the importance of universal healthcare and nutritional delivery services to mitigate the impacts of early-life shocks. © 2022 Cambridge University Press. All rights reserved.
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Published in Cambridge University Press
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