Opinions & Views

Healthcare Foot Soldiers for Elders in nCovid Times

3 months, 3 weeks ago
Healthcare Foot Soldiers for Elders in nCovid Times

The global pandemic which originated in China has rapidly expanded its footprint to as many as two hundred and fifteen countries infecting nearly six million people while claiming more than three hundred and fifty thousand lives.

But these statistics do not make the Corona virus infection any deadlier than the Spanish Flu which raged between 1918 and 1920, exactly a hundred years ago, killing more than 50 million people, roughly a little under a third of the world population estimated at 1.8 billion at that time.

Of course, science and technology were not what they are today and life expectancy then was a shade under 50 years on an average. Compared to that today it has soared to around 80 years on the back of rapid advancement in medical science and healthcare technology. So, people dying from nCovid10 are not a patch on what transpired a century ago.

And yet, the fear and paranoia around the mysterious corona virus which has galloped in a very short time to all corners of the globe, have taken a vice like grip over people’s minds.

Most importantly, what the virus has done is expose the woefully inadequate healthcare intervention system prevailing across countries. None including the more advanced nations of the world appeared prepared to deal with the deadly virus which spread its tentacles in no time.

India is no exception. Although the virus has yet to multiply in the same manner as it has in most advanced countries, the number of infected cases has begun to double in less than two weeks. One reason of course is testing has become somewhat more aggressive. The other reason and perhaps the crucial one is the density of population in our country which negates the possibility of maintaining a high degree of social distancing. A third reason is the rising numbers in slums in most tier 1 cities that are home to a large number of migrant labour living under appalling conditions.

World over countries have failed to deal medically with such large numbers of infections at the same time. India is beginning to go the same way. That a substantial numbers of healthcare workers from an available limited pool are getting infected has not helped matters. While confirmed cases of infected doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers is estimated at around a thousand or so across India, at least three to four thousand others have been placed under compulsory quarantine and observation because of their proximity to the infected cases. As growing numbers of skilled healthcare manpower fall prey to the disease, medical intervention is taking a beating.

nCovid is unlikely to leave us in a hurry. Hence a larger retinue of healthcare workers will become imperative as time goes by. There is little doubt that more attention will have to be given to increasing their numbers as soon as possible.

At liveafter60.com, we recognized this pressing need quite early. It is with this view that we have initiated a programme to develop healthcare workers who conform to the training standards set by the Indian Council of Health under Ministry of Health, Government of India. Given the growing popularity of online education this may well become the norm in the not too distant future.

Liveafter60 is in the process of devising an online training module for an entirely new generation of dedicated nurses and healthcare workers who will be required and ready to fill the void currently in the system.

We shall unveil our plan soon.

About the author

Subhash Mohanti is a founder member of Live After 60. You can reach Subhash at subhash@liveafter60.com, or leave a comment below.

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