Articles by Shailaja Tiwale

Shailaja Tiwale is an independent journalist residing in Mumbai, reporting on health, gender, environment, science and socioeconomic issues. She is passionate about writing deeply explored stories that highlight systemic issues and lives on the edges.

After the COVID-19 pandemic, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) prioritised healthcare infrastructure in Mumbai. In 2022-23, BMC allocated Rs 6933.75 crore for the health budget, marking a 46% increase from the previous year (2021-22). BMC increased the share of the total budget dedicated to health up to 15%, the highest in the decade. Moreover, BMC invested Rs 2660.65 crore for health capital expenditure, more than doubling the prior year's allocation. These funds were primarily focused on completing delayed hospital redevelopment projects, upgrading dispensaries and maternity homes, procuring medical equipment, and expanding health infrastructure across the city.  Health actual budget expenditure…

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"I found it challenging to adhere to the doctors' instructions due to the constant rotation of different doctors during each visit. It led to confusion in managing my hyperactive daughter, who tends to become angry quickly," said Kavita Shinde, a resident of Dahisar in Mumbai. Kavita's 8-year-old daughter Hansika has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and has visited B.Y.L Nair Hospital, Mumbai Central in Mumbai for treatment for the past three years.  Kavita was relieved after she moved to the recently established Early Intervention and Rehabilitation Centre for Children at Byculla. She has been consistently meeting the…

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Amid a rise in COVID-19 cases attributed to the novel variant JN.1 of the virus, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) plans to escalate COVID-19 testing during the festive season. Despite the increase in COVID-19 cases, the positivity rate in Mumbai remains below 5%. Dr Sudhakar Shinde, additional commissioner of BMC, told Citizen Matters that the situation is well under control and no restrictions will be imposed. The BMC clarified that the city has not identified any cases of the JN.1 variant so far. According to BMC's data, as of December 24, Mumbai had a total of 77 COVID-19 positive cases…

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Tayappa Dhangar, who is 41 and lives in Andheri, needs heart valve replacement surgery. He works as waste picker and is eligible for the indigent patient scheme under a charitable trust hospital. However, a well-known charitable trust hospital in South Mumbai has refused to perform the surgery free of cost.  The hospital provided a surgery cost estimate of around Rs 15 lakh, with assistance limited to only two lakh rupees. Tayappa, who earns a daily wage of Rs 300, does not know how to gather the remaining Rs 13 lakh for the surgery. Tayappa's situation is not unique. Many individuals…

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Nilesh Jadhav, a 28-year-old resident of Dharavi in Mumbai, viral fever and cold in the last week of October. Though he recovered from the initial infection within two days, he had persistent dry cough from the third day post-recovery.ย  Nilesh says, "While the cough was initially tolerable, it gradually worsened, sometimes causing chest pain due to prolonged bouts of coughing." Nilesh tried various remedies, including allopathy and Ayurveda, but none completely relieved his cough. It took nearly 15 days for Nilesh to overcome this lingering cough and regain complete respiratory comfort. Malan Adsul, a 43-year-old resident of Navi Mumbai, had…

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