In continuation with the ongoing discussions on the Rural Realities around the country, the Centre for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies (CHURS), IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi organized a panel discussion on “Rural Realities | Maharashtra Practitioners’ Experiences in Tackling the Second Wave in Indian Villages” on May 13, 2021.
The IMPRI team informed the discussion by locating for the event participants the situation of COVID-19 in India and Maharashtra. The team also provided an insight into the geography and Socio-economic conditions of the state. The rationale was to provide the participants with an overview of the state of Maharashtra.
Health & Nutrition
Dr Shailesh Dikhale, Health, and Nutrition Karykarta, Support for Advocacy and Training to Health Initiatives (SATHI) CEHAT, Pune, focused on determinants of health. “Aab Chidiya Chugh gayi kheth” is the proper idiom that depicts the current situation. Delay in the testing of COVID-19 is a major issue. Nutrition services is a major issue. Anganwadi centres are closed. Stunting and severely wasted children have increased. We need to be proactive as it is predicted that children will be most affected in the third wave of COVID-19.
- System strengthening through “Help Desk”, basically to provide guidance to patients regarding treatment related to COVID as well as other illnesses, immunization and testing and to create education related to various health schemes. Facilitate dialogue within the community.
- People’s health and nutrition education in the context of COVID. Development of educational material in local tribal languages. Use of social media to educate rural and tribal communities through Anganwadi, ASHA workers and Poshan Hakka Gat. Education regarding the importance of VCDC, CTC and NRC in the current pandemic situation.
- Strengthening health and nutrition services and practices through community participation. Community feedback is important
- Improvement in household nutrition practices and follow up of malnourished children. Follow up of malnourished children is important.
- To ensure treatment of non-COVID patients for non-communicable diseases
- Need to strengthen the government health and nutrition system and services through community participation
- Regulation of private health sector
- To strengthen preventive and curative aspects of health and nutrition
- Keeping in view the third wave of COVID-19, need to develop “COVID Care Centres” for children at a block level.
- Immunization in campaign mode while ensuring counselling for the same
- Strengthening social services
- Strengthening coordination and convergence b/w various line departments
Dr. Shailesh pointed that public health system should work in coordination with NGOs.