Researchers using all-cause mortality data from civil registration systems estimate that deaths from COVID-19 in India are much higher than officially recorded

Head shot of Aashish Gupta

Harvard Bell Fellow Aashish Gupta has co-authored a research article—along with colleague Murad Banaji—published in PLOS Global Public Health that utilizes all-cause mortality data from civil registration systems across 12 states in India as a way to try and get a more accurate estimation of COVID-19 deaths than what has been reported by the “patchy” mortality surveillance system in that country. “The surveillance of pandemic mortality in India has been…

Op-ed: Controversy over India’s COVID-19 mortality rate illuminates need to address “holes” in mortality statistics and death registration data

Harvard Bell Fellow Aashish Gupta, along with his colleagues Murad Banaji and Vipul Paikra, have published an op-ed in The Indian Forum that points out how increased global attention on India’s COVID-19 mortality statistics could ultimately help to illuminate and potentially improve the underlying unreliability of mortality statistics and death registration data in India.

Can India’s Health Information Management System (HMIS) data be relied upon for estimates of population-level birth and child mortality rates?

This study is one of the first to compare facility-based, administrative health data on births and child deaths to birth and death vital statistics from the more commonly relied upon nationally representative surveys, such as the Sample Registration System and the National Family Health System, at national and state levels over a four-year period. Although the study authors (including Pritha Chatterjee, Harvard Bell Fellow Aashish Gupta, and HCPDS faculty member…

Study finds large disparities in life expectancy between different castes in India, suggesting “diverse systems of discrimination akin to racism”

A study published in PNAS co-authored by Harvard Bell Fellow Aashish Gupta, PhD, and two other colleagues uses survey data on more than 20 million individuals from nine Indian states (representing approximately half of India’s total population) to estimate life expectancy differences between those from higher-castes (e.g., Hindus) and three marginalized social groups: Adivasis (indigenous peoples), Dalits (oppressed castes), and Muslims.

Cross-checking registration mortality rates in Kerala, India with data from MARANAM study confirms that civil registration systems are improving

Head shot of Aashish Gupta

Accurate vital statistics, such as birth and death records, are essential in order to identify mortality risk factors and monitor the performance of health policies. Although mortality registration has historically been incomplete in many low- and middle-income countries, there are signs that it’s improving. Harvard Pop Center Bell Fellow Aashish Gupta, PhD, has co-authored a study that utilizes individual-level registration data from Kerala MARANAM (Mortality and Registration Assessment and Monitoring)…

Gender norms in rural north India may play role in slow adoption of cleaner, government-endorsed fuel sources for cooking

Harvard Bell Fellow Aashish Gupta, PhD, and colleagues have published a study in World Development that indicates that despite the government promoting the uptake of cleaner fuel (liquid petroleum gas) for cooking in rural north India, the majority of households are still using solid fuel, which poses health risks due to air pollution.

Introducing our three new Bell Fellows!

We are so pleased to welcome— and introduce— the three new David E. Bell Fellows that comprise the 2021-2023 cohort. These fellows, who have academic backgrounds in disciplines ranging from epidemiology, to demography and sociology, will enrich our collaborative community here at the Harvard Pop Center, while they strive to advance population health science research. Brittney Butler holds a doctorate in epidemiology from The Ohio State University, and an MPH…