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COVID-19 Underscored Importance Of Investing In Public Health: WHO Chief Scientist

Addressing the 15th JRD Tata Memorial Oration from Geneva, WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan highlighted the impact of COVID-19 on education, violence against women, reproductive health and services

COVID-19 Underscored Importance Of Investing In Public Health: WHO Chief Scientist
Highlights
  • COVID highlighted importance of investing in public health: Dr Swaminathan
  • COVID-19 vaccines will be available by early 2021: Dr Swaminathan
  • Pandemic taught importance of collaboration and solidarity: Dr Swaminathan

New Delhi: The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of investing in public health and primary healthcare, WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said, noting that at least a couple of coronavirus vaccines could be available by early next year. Addressing the 15th JRD Tata Memorial Oration from Geneva, Dr Swaminathan highlighted the impact of COVID-19 on education, violence against women, reproductive health and services.

Also Read: COVID Warrior: A Doctor In Emergency Department Of A Mumbai Hospital Explains How Fighting COVID-19 Is Mentally And Physically Draining

Of the lessons that I have learned over the last nine or ten months, the most important one is the importance of investing in public health and primary healthcare, she said. We see examples of countries where investments in primary healthcare over the past decade or two have paid off. On the contrary, you have high income countries where they’ve been overwhelmed and haven’t been able to put in place some of the mechanisms that have been needed, she said.

Dr Swaminathan said immunisation for the novel coronavirus may be available by early next year.

We are working on vaccines, which hopefully by the early part of 2021 we will have at least a couple of vaccines that have been proven to be safe and effective and that we can then start using in the most vulnerable and high-risk populations, she added.

Emphasising on the differential impact of the pandemic on women and children, Dr Swaminathan identified some key factors to address the gendered impact that included social services for women employed in the informal sector, the importance of sex and age disaggregated data and universal health coverage schemes such as Ayushman Bharat.

Also Read: Top Doctors Back Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s COVID-19 Caution Amid Festive Season

On the biggest learnings from the COVID-19, Dr Swaminathan said the pandemic taught the importance of global collaboration and solidarity, political will and leadership and community engagement and empowerment.

On the impact of COVID-19 on maternal and child mortality in low and middle-income countries, she said the estimated coverage of essential mother and child health interventions reduced by 10-52 per cent and the prevalence of wasting increased by 10-50 per cent.

Population Foundation of India’s Executive Director, Poonam Muttreja, said, This year’s oration is a special time for us It is our 50th anniversary. JRD Tata is among our key founders. We strongly believe that if our founding fathers were here today, they would be proud to see the difference the Population Foundation of India has made to the lives of millions of people, particularly girls and women.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.) 

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

26,43,68,460Cases
22,50,84,762Active
3,40,45,666Recovered
52,38,032Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 196 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 26,43,68,460 and 52,38,032 have died; 22,50,84,762 are active cases and 3,40,45,666 have recovered as on December 3, 2021 at 1:36 pm.

India

3,46,15,757 9,216Cases
99,976 213Active
3,40,45,666 8,612Recovered
4,70,115 391Deaths
In India, there are 3,46,15,757 confirmed cases including 4,70,115 deaths. The number of active cases is 99,976 and 3,40,45,666 have recovered as on December 3, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

66,37,221 796

10,882 180

64,85,290 952

1,41,049 24

Kerala

51,51,919 4,700

45,030 252

50,66,034 4,128

40,855 320

Karnataka

29,96,833 363

6,772 169

29,51,845 191

38,216 3

Tamil Nadu

27,28,350 715

8,155 45

26,83,691 748

36,504 12

Andhra Pradesh

20,73,252 159

2,138 11

20,56,670 169

14,444 1

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,417 12

93 1

16,87,413 11

22,911

West Bengal

16,17,408 657

7,690 22

15,90,208 667

19,510 12

Delhi

14,41,190 217

307 21

14,15,785 196

25,098

Odisha

10,49,597 252

2,211 26

10,38,971 276

8,415 2

Chhattisgarh

10,06,870 37

328 12

9,92,949 25

13,593

Rajasthan

9,54,827 21

213 10

9,45,659 11

8,955

Gujarat

8,27,570 50

318 25

8,17,158 24

10,094 1

Madhya Pradesh

7,93,199 12

128 4

7,82,543 8

10,528

Haryana

7,71,760 27

178 9

7,61,528 18

10,054

Bihar

7,26,230 5

32 0

7,16,534 4

9,664 1

Telangana

6,76,376 189

3,680 50

6,68,701 137

3,995 2

Assam

6,17,163 124

2,535 77

6,08,517 198

6,111 3

Punjab

6,03,352 32

344 13

5,86,402 18

16,606 1

Jharkhand

3,49,271 15

95 1

3,44,035 13

5,141 1

Uttarakhand

3,44,325 22

182 4

3,36,735 18

7,408

Jammu And Kashmir

3,37,263 177

1,697 10

3,31,089 167

4,477

Himachal Pradesh

2,27,354 85

835 29

2,22,669 113

3,850 1

Goa

1,79,046 56

367 40

1,75,295 16

3,384

Mizoram

1,35,765 315

3,717 55

1,31,545 368

503 2

Puducherry

1,28,998 33

299 10

1,26,826 23

1,873

Manipur

1,25,269 33

663 4

1,22,627 28

1,979 1

Tripura

84,835 15

94 6

83,916 8

825 1

Meghalaya

84,534 24

296 2

82,764 25

1,474 1

Chandigarh

65,475 4

65 1

64,590 5

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,285 6

36 1

54,969 5

280

Sikkim

32,267 15

137 10

31,727 5

403

Nagaland

32,128 3

128 5

31,302 6

698 2

Ladakh

21,642 41

306 21

21,122 20

214

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,683

0 1

10,679 1

4

Lakshadweep

10,397 1

18 8

10,328 9

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,686 3

7 2

7,550 1

129

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