Covid-19: It’s time to empower local health institutions

Muzamil Manzoor

The covid-19 outbreak is a watershed moment for the world powers.From politics to economics the future of some great countries is at stake .The number of Covid-19 cases is constantly increasing and responses to the pandemic are evolving. It has brought into sharp focus the working of health systems around the world and our health system too faces similar challenges .It is certainly a right time to look at India’s health care system as it’s poor infrastructure and man power shortage deserves immediate attention and intervention of the government .Even in the ongoing pandemic the personal protective equipment(PPP) kits are not freely available for healthcare workers dealing with corona virus positive cases. Shortage of beds, ventilators and quarantine centres at national as well as local level are largely contributing to the unprecedented increase in the fast spread of deadly coronavirus diseases. So an urgency to fix solutions becomes the priority. Health care system is based on organizational structure, financing and financing for the health care services. As such policies, regulatory mechanisms and laws that govern the functioning of different components of the system matter a lot.What I am trying to bring into notice is, the capacity to fight covid-19 pandemic vis-a-vis our local health care system.
Covid-19 has influenced the health of each member of society and without addressing the pandemic at grass root level, it is impossible to stop the spread and fight the pandemic with full might.
When everything is said and done on higher levels, the grass root level our health care system does show any improvement. In this pandemic the focus should be on grass root level health care system comprising sub-centres, primary health centres and community health centres. There are many health issues other than covid-19 pandemic like mother-child health care , women health issues, daily check-ups of the pregnant ladies etc. Therefore these institutions should be empowered with adequate facilities so that overcrowding does not put extra burden of patient care on hospitals in tehsils and district are not overcrowded. While fighting the covid 19 pandemic at grass root level, empowering such institutions can help us to break the communication chain as well. Unfortunately working of these health institutions is less discussed and consequently attracts very less attention and intervention of the administrative top brass. It hardly gets a place in discussions held on measures taken to beat the pandemic. A patient having a normal injury or any other normal ailment is forced to rush to the Sub-district or District hospital as he does not finding a doctor available at the sub-centre. In this pandemic it is mandatory to have a doctor at a sub-centre for treatment purposes other than covid 19 cases patients. It throws up a challenge and poses a threat to both the law enforcing authorities and as well as healthcare workers. More to the point, it is important to empower the foot soldiers which include the Asha worker, Anganwadi worker and ANM (Auxilary Nurse Mid Wife) with suitable health care arrangements as they are the back bone of the healthcare system, but unfortunately they too are not provided the proper protection kits. They are the frontline health workers at grass root level conducting door to door surveys and regular interact with the patients. So there should be proper arrangements for them also. Covid-19 has influenced the health of each member of society and without addressing the pandemic at grass root level, it is impossible to stop the spread and fight the pandemic with full might.
(The Writer is a freelancer. Views are his own, muzamilmanzoor05123@gmail.com)

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COVID-19

India
Confirmed: 158,086Deaths: 4,534
ine