Calls for effective vaccination programme to contain Covid-19
Srinagar, April 7: On World Health Day-2021, CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, has called for building a fairer and healthier world, where everyone has living and working conditions that are conducive to good health.
The Covid-19 pandemic has undercut recent health gains, pushed more people into poverty and food insecurity, and amplified gender, social and health inequities. As World Health Day 2021 is being observed during the Covid-19 pandemic, there is a need to take action to eliminate health inequities, as part of a year-long global campaign to bring people together to build a fairer, healthier world.
The recent surge in Covid-19 positive cases across the country is worrisome as even the figures of last year’s positive cases have been breached in recent days. In Jammu and Kashmir also the positive cases in recent weeks have shown an upward trend which is alarming. India’s healthcare index is among the lowest in the world. In J&K, the public health network suffers due to lack of adequate funds, infrastructure and human resources. To contain the pandemic, it is imperative to make District Hospitals and PHCs equipped to deal with the issues of Covid-19. Besides it must be ensured that good quality masks are provided and made available to common people at village level health centers.
Covid-19 poses serious challenges for everyone across the country but in J&K, the consequences can be more dangerous, if the government does not take appropriate steps at the earliest. J&K has quite inadequate and woeful health facilities. If the infection rate continues to grow, things are going to get pretty grim in a few weeks’ time.
ASHA workers are the backbone of the health structure and are playing a key role in making the people aware about the pandemic in rural areas. Despite their role, they are being paid meager incentives. Despite repeated assurances by the central government nothing concrete has been done to address their legitimate demands.
Similarly, the staff under NHM is working on meager wages for more than a decade and they don’t have any job security. Government must fulfill its promises made with these employees and immediately formulate a policy for the regularization.
There is a need to have an effective vaccination programme which requires a robust public health system. Unfortunately, there are insufficient numbers of skilled and practiced personnel to administer the vaccine in J&K. Since these are sensitive vaccines, preparation and administration of the vaccine must be done by trained public health workers to ensure it is delivered optimally and to prevent side effects. There is also a need to have well-developed systems to monitor the impact of the vaccines and it requires long-term follow-up.
Also, people should practice social distancing norms, sneezing etiquette, which are important elements in this fight. We should not become complacent, wear face masks and follow other norms as prescribed by the experts at any cost. Use of masks by the general public will cut the transmission to a large extent.
On World Health Day 2021, the government has to ensure that everyone and everywhere realises the right to good health.