India becoming the pharmacy of the planet is one in all its biggest achievements within the past 75 years, underlined World Health Organization (WHO)’s Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan while listing out the country’s achievements in healthcare.
Dr Swaminathan, who was speaking at NDTV’s Swasth Bharat, Sampann Bharat Telethon, listed out four big achievements of the country – from the elimination of polio and some other vaccine-preventable diseases to reducing maternal and child mortality to universal health coverage to India becoming the pharmacy of the globe.
The top scientist, however, spotlighted that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the delivery of essential health services in almost every country, including India.
There has been a setback in tuberculosis treatment, non-communicable diseases, in delivery of ante-natal and child health services in India, she noted.
“There has to be an honest stock take of where exactly more attention will must be paid within the coming months, and not only to catch up, but also make sure that we create resilience within the system to make sure, that if there are future health shocks, and there are sure to be health shocks within the future, that we will handle those without having to compromise on other essential health services,” said Dr Swaminathan.
According to the world organisation Children’s Fund (UNICEF), malnutrition may be a major contributor to disease burden in India and a predominant risk factor for death among children younger than 5 years old. The Covid pandemic has exacerbated things. Dr Swaminathan has cautioned experts to appear at the info carefully because the virus has upended families and pushed people into poverty.
“The Covid pandemic has also increased the rates of poverty and is probably going to extend undernutrition within the community. So we’d like to essentially observe the info carefully increasing rates of poverty and under nutrition could go up the incidence of diseases like tuberculosis, but also other diseases that are associated with poverty. So this is often something that we’ll must watch closely and take preemptive action on,” she added.
Covid infections in India are decreasing and have stayed below 30,000 daily within the past week.