To discuss the ways to tackle the spread of the second wave of pandemic in rural areas, 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 | Karnataka Practitioners’ Experiences in Tackling the Second Wave” on May 21, 2021.
The esteemed panelists were Dr. Basavaraju R Shreshta, Executive Director, Grassroots Research And Advocacy Movement (GRAAM), Mysore. Dr. Priya Shanmugam, Faculty, Department of Economics, Mount Carmel College Autonomous, Bengaluru. Mr. Leo Saldanha, Founding Trustee and Coordinator, Environment Support Group, Bengaluru.
Mr. Nitesh Kumar Jangir, Co-Founder, Coeo Labs Pvt. Ltd. (An InnAccel Division), Bengaluru. Dr. Purnima Madhivanan, Associate Professor, Public Health, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College, The University of Arizona. Dr. Nazrul Haque, Assistant Professor, Azim Premji University, Bengaluru. Dr. M R Seetharam, Consultant Orthopedic surgeon, Vivekananda Memorial Hospital; Core Member, SVYM and Dr. Jyotsna Jha, Director, Centre for Budget and Policy Studies (CBPS), Bengaluru as the discussant.
The moderator of the session was Prof Krishna Raj, Professor, Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bangalore.
Strengthen Public Health Care in Pandemic
Dr. Jyotsna Jha underlined following three differences in the second wave:
- High infection rate
- Prevalent in Rural areas
- Younger age group getting infected
According to her, definitely it is a behavioral and cultural issue. Lack of health preparedness has led to this rapid upsurge in cases.
There are critical gaps which needs our attention. Good communication is needed for reaching to the public effectively. Problems are deeper than they seem. We have poor accountability mechanisms. We can’t be apolitical now. Weak public health system is the result of corporatization. Technology is a divider. Definitely it is a federal issue. Long term horizon of decision making is needed. Strengthening public health care is the solution. We have to be better prepared. We have to hold the leadership accountable.