- India is a manufacturing hub for vaccines: Soumya Swaminathan
- By early 2021, we should have some good news: WHO Chief Scientist
- The pandemic has exacerbated inequalities: Soumya Swaminathan
Bangaluru: Distributing COVID-19 vaccine around the world fairly without letting the rich countries corner the limited doses is going to be a big challenge, the World Health Organisation’s Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan said on Wednesday. On vaccine development for the novel coronavirus, she said, “By early 2021, we should have some good news.” Then, there is the big challenge of being able to scale, distribute and allocate fairly around the world without letting the rich countries corner the limited doses, Ms. Swaminathan said.
She made the comments while addressing the valedictory of the XV international conference on public policy and management hosted by the Centre for Public Policy at Indian Institute of Management Bangalore in a virtual mode, according to an IIMB statement. But India is in a good position because many companies are working on vaccine development, either on their own or in collaboration, she said, adding, the country is a manufacturing hub for vaccines.
The pandemic has exacerbated inequalities, and it has proved to be a learning opportunity to improve resilience and strengthen public health systems, according to her. The focus needs to be on global collaboration when dealing with the virus diagnostics, therapeutics, behavioural and mental health concerns, transmission, vaccine development, and how the disease impacts children (learning, cognitive development) with schools being shut, the statement quoted her as saying.
The mortality rate is not going up in the second wave of the pandemic. This is probably related to demographics and other factors we do not yet know why South Asia and Africa have lower mortality rates than Europe and the Americas, Ms. Swaminathan said.
(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 (Water, Sanitation 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 pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.