The panel discussion on rural realities in Uttar Pradesh during the Covid-19 second wave highlighted the working experiences of various professionals especially in the wake of the second wave of COVID in Indian villages. It was organized by Center for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies (CHURS) and of “Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi” on 19th May, 2021 by the joint efforts of “Parmarth Sevi Sanstha” (Uttar Pradesh).
The focal point of the discussion was the need to focus on the rural reality of the state of Uttar Pradesh and its related issues.
This program was initiated by Ritika Gupta (Assistant Director) of IMPRI Institute of Impact and Policy Research. Also, by Dr Simi Mehta, who while welcoming the panelists, said that the goal of this is a comprehensive discussion on the situation of second wave of COVID in the state of Uttar Pradesh and the efforts being made at the ground level by the stakeholders.
Prof. Amita Singh (Chairman, NAPSIPAG Center for Disaster Research, Delhi, Retd., Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)) took over the conduct of this forum, acting as a moderator. Other eminent panelists included Khalid Choudhary ( Regional Manager, (Uttar Pradesh), Action Aid India, Neelam Verma (State Coordinator (Uttar Pradesh), Indo-Global Social Service Society (IGSSS)), Vivek Awasthi (Executive Director, U.P. Volunteer Health Association).
Dr. Sanjay Singh (Secretary, Parmarth Samaj Sevi Sansthan, Jhansi), Lenin Raghuvanshi (Founder and CEO, People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR), Varanasi), Saurabh Lal (CEO, Model Village), Saurabh Singh (Chief) Functionary, Inner Voice Foundation Community Arsenic Mitigation and Research Organization (CAMRO),Sandeep Abasaheb Chavan (Project Lead, Tata Trusts, Gorakhpur, Homoeopathic Doctor, Public Health Professional), Dr. Hira Lal (Indian Administrative Servant and Consultant, Model Village) were some of the other speakers during the discussion.
Health Condition in Rural U.P.
Mr. Sandeep Abasaheb Chavan (Project Lead, Tata Trusts, Gorakhpur, Homoeopathic Doctor, Public Health Professional) spoke about the plight of healthcare in rural areas of the state and how to strengthen primary health centers with the help of community based development.
Sharing the CPVID related problems of rural areas of Gorakhpur area of the state very earnestly, he highlighted his concern on how there was a sudden increase in the spread of cases among the people in the second wave of this global pandemic. The main reasons for this are that people in these areas refuse to accept the symptoms of COVID, nor was there a proper investigation and initiative towards prevention, while about 10-20% of the families in this area remain badly affected.
Further, he said that there are not enough general testing kits for COVID and its diagnosis even at the block level under low health facilities in the state. Also, antigen testing and RT-PCR tests. are not available within a radius of 20-25 km. He also said that the management of isolation related to COVID at the village level was challenging, and elaborated that there is a situation of denial among the people about the acceptance of proper practical approach of home isolation.
Therefore, in this direction, at least L1 (L1-) patients at the village level are those patients who are less infected, who have mild fever, oxygen level is fine, blood reports are fine and they are treated at home. Maybe, they do not need to be admitted to the hospital.
There is still a need to ensure patient care. Also, keeping this wave in mind, appropriate therapeutic initiatives under L1 and L2 need to be properly grounded. In the end, Mr. Chavan also attributed the population density of the state of Uttar Pradesh to an extent for the rising figures of Covid and acknowledged that in this sequence, especially for the awareness of rural people, local public representatives, health department and district officials etc.
In conclusion, he remarked that It is very important to fix the responsibility of primary health centers by establishing mutual coordination with them.