COVID-19: Challenges and its consequences for rural health care in India
29 Apr 2022
The current global pandemic of COVID-19 necessitates a public health strategy with more emphasis on epidemiology, especially with regard to understanding the causes as well as identifying appropriate population-based behavioral and educational programs. It is important to realize that the pandemic of COVID-19 has initially happened in well-developed countries that have achieved the so-called health transition. However, the virus does not differentiate between rich-poor or rural-urban dichotomies. It is particularly a threat to a country like India, where 65–68% of the population live in rural areas that also have the highest overall burden of disease globally. The impacts of this pandemic, especially the lockdown strategy in the social sphere is multi-dimensional. What could be important from a public health point of view is its impact on the employment of millions of people in the rural areas who are migrant workers in many cities and educational opportunities. The emotional impacts of the strategies may add to this. It is a wakeup call and what is important at this moment is to use the lessons of this pandemic in the rural areas of many Indian states where the health care systems have to be improved considering the huge population in rural areas, untrained staff in caring and handling of patients during an outbreak of infectious diseases, and a huge shortage of beds, and equipment.
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