Nurses And Midwives Are The Backbone Of The System.
ujjain 2704.2020. The World Health Day this year was celebrated to remind the world about the critical role nurses and healthworkers play in keeping the world healthy. Healthcare workers and nurses are at the forefront of COVID-19 response, by providing good quality treatment and care to patients. They are also the ones who lead community dialogue to address fears and questions about the novel coronavirus. Also, they have been at the forefront for collecting data for clinical studies for this deadly disease.
They are the advocates and innovators of health. They provide essential health services and are a key to achieving the WHO’s goal of health for all by 2030. In fact, about nine million more nurses and midwives are needed globally to achieve that goal. Only if they are shown how much they are valued and are given leadership roles can they help guide and improve health policies- stated Advisor-National Community Health Programme, Dr Naresh Purohit
Indian Federation of Hospital Administrators – Executive Member, Dr Purohit informed Blue Eyes that
strengthening the nursing and midwifery sectors and allowing these health care workers to reach their full potential making a significant impact on public health.
He expressed concern that unfortunately, midwives and nurses are often overworked, undervalued, and under-resourced, and many of them work in very challenging circumstances and tiring conditions. This is why it is important to recognize the crucial contribution they make to global health.
According to WHO globally, 70% of the health and social workforce are women. Nurses and midwives represent a large portion of this.
“Nurses and midwives have a relationship with their patients that is based on trust; knowing the full picture of someone’s health helps improve care and saves money. They also know the traditions, cultures, and practices of their communities, making them indispensable during an outbreak or emergency.”stated Dr Purohit
“Achieving health for all will depend on there being sufficient numbers of well-trained and educated, regulated and adequately supported nurses and midwives, who receive pay and recognition commensurate with the services and quality of care that they provide.”averred Dr Purohit.
As Covid Danger Looms -Expert Highlights Agony of Rural Healthcare
The rural health infrastructure is increasingly coming under scrutiny as the corona pandemic is spreading its footprint across villages of the country in the backdrop of the largest internal migration of modern times. The situation has been exacerbated with the reverse migration of people and a shortfall of healthcare services and doctors in the rural areas.
The situation assumes importance given that migrants comprise 48% of residents in India’s six largest metros of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru in 2011, according to the last national census.
The risk of spread in rural areas due to infected migrants is compounded due to a number of factors, including lack of awareness, a limited supply of clean water, low levels of nutrition, and most importantly, ill-equipped and insufficient public health centres and district hospitals, Epidemiologist and National Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme – Advisor Dr Naresh Purohit informed Blue Eyes .
“Rural populations are relatively older, making them more at risk for falling seriously ill from Covid-19 as they live much further from hospitals than their urban or suburban counterparts, and most of them lack access to good doctors .
This comes in the backdrop of a shortfall of primary health centres (PHCs) and community health centres by 22% and 30% across India, with the highest shortfall in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.” revealed Dr Purohit
At least 60% of PHCs in India have only one doctor while about 5% have none, according to the Economic Survey 2018-19. More than 10% PHCs in Jharkhand and 20% in Chhattisgarh don’t have any doctors. More than 90% PHCs in Gujarat and West Bengal have only one doctor. The situation is the same in 80% of PHCs in Kerala and Karnataka, and 70% of those in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, averred Dr Purohit
Indian Federation of Hospital Administrators – Executive Member, Dr Purohit apprehended that hospitals in rural India would run out of beds even if 0.03 per cent of its population is impacted by the epidemic
According to National Health Profile 2019, report of the total 7.1 lakh hospital beds in the government hospitals, 2.6 lakh were in rural areas and 4.5 lakh in urban areas. This means that for 70 per cent of the population residing in rural areas, only 36 per cent of the goverment hospital beds are available.
On average, India has one bed for almost every 1,700 people in government hospitals.
In rural India, this is 3,100 people per bed – almost twice as much as the national average.
For urban areas, this number is roughly 800 people per bed, which is almost half the national average and four times less than the average rural area.
This means that the queue for getting a bed in rural areas would be four times longer than the ones in urban areas, he added.
Dr Purohit expressed concern that the pressure of handling patients in rural India is twice as much as the national average. On average, for every 10,000 people in the country, there is one allopathic doctor available. In rural India, one doctor is available for every 26,000 people.
West Bengal turns out to be the worst state in this regard. According to the Rural Health Statistics 2019, roughly 881 doctors are available in rural areas of West Bengal that has an enormous population of 6.2 crore. This means that for every 70,000 people in the rural areas of West Bengal, there is only one doctor available in the government hospitals.