While the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the world alike, its impact on the health of people from disparate socio-economic standings has been unequal. Keeping in line with this and in continuation of the rural realities webinar series, the Centre for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies (CHURS), Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI) in collaboration with Centre for Development Communication and Studies (CDECS), Jaipur and Tarun Bharat Sangh, Alwar organized a panel discussion on “Rural Realities Health Security through Community- centered Approaches COVID-19 and Beyond- Rajasthan” on May 13th, 2021.
The IMPRI team gave a brief presentation in order to provide an overview of the state of Rajasthan. They informed the participants about the state’s geographical and socio-economic status and gave insight into the situation of COVID-19 in India and Rajasthan, highlighting pertinent emerging issues.
Mr Maulik Sisodia, Executive Director, Tarun Bharat Sangh, Alwar agreed with Dr. Gupta by saying that the tehsil and primary health care (PHCs) level rural health infrastructure and oxygen supply has always been weak and never developed presuming that the disease was an urban one. In some cases, it worsens the mild symptoms of a patient into critical ones.
Primary Health Care Centers
One deficiency was that the community organizations were not able to utilize their strength like in the first wave. Another is that in the case of COVID-related symptoms, doctors are directly prescribing medicines while claiming that tests are not required. This makes the process counter-productive, because if the number of new cases is not known then there will be a mismatch in the number of beds and other facilities. Tarun Bharat Sangh has initiated a self-observation kit and a helpline number for assistance.