To discuss the ways to tackle the spread of the second wave of the pandemic in rural areas, and stressed Medical Facilities the Centre for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies (CHURS) and Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi organized a Panel Discussion on Rural Realities| Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand | Practitioner’s Experience in Tackling the Second Wave in Indian Villages on May 17, 2021.
The esteemed panelists were Dr PC Negi, Professor and head, Department of Cardiology, Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh; Renu Thakur, Secretary, Association of Rural planning and action, Askote, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand; Shankar Datt, Founder member and Treasurer, Shramyog, Dehradun, Uttarakhand; Dr Anil Jaggi, Founder, Venture, Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
Dr OP Bhuraita, Chairman, State resource centre, Himachal; Prof Sas Biswas, Professor and head, Department of Forestry, Dolphin Post graduate Institute of Biomedical and natural sciences, Dehradun, Uttarakhand; Dr Jitender Kumar Mokta, Professor of Medicine, Indira Gandhi Medical college and hospital, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh.
Psychological First Aid
Dr Om Prakash Bhuraita warned that In Himachal, there is low population density but high habitation density which translates into higher cost of delivering goods and services. According to Dr Om, it is small things that are important. In rural areas, people are in fear and denial mode. The problem lies in hospital mismanagement. Info deficit and trust deficit in rural areas is a huge problem that needs to be addressed. According to Dr Om, following are the major problems:
- Vaccination is less. Only 4 lakh people have been given second doses. Further there are no slot announcements of vaccines and Internet connectivity problem is a big hurdle in the registration process of vaccines in the online mode.
- Testing problems, reports come after six days which is problematic.
- Lack of Physiotherapists in COVID wards
- Attendants are less
- Mental health care, psychological first aid is needed. Physical distancing has to be practiced not social distancing.
- Lack of oxygen despite so many funds. Uninterrupted oxygen supply should be ensured.
- Lack of ICU Beds.
We should focus on:
- Generating volunteers support, youth can play a significant role here.
- Awareness and education through counselling is needed.
- More Oxygen plants.
- Increase attendants and vacancies.
- Decentralise services.
- Monitoring oxygen at home level increased.
According to Dr Om, the government has failed to provide basic amenities to the people, thus it needs to look deeply into its mechanisms. Social Vaccine is the need of the hour.