With the hopes for COVID-19 vaccine within reach is soaring high, there is still a population that continues to remain extremely vulnerable with large scale challenges in infectious, non-communicable diseases, malnutrition and addictions mostly complicated by poorly health seeking behaviour.
Our two-day health screening camp organized in a remotely located tribal village in Dhansol High school, 40 Km from Bhasragat, Kharagpur was for many their first meeting with the doctors in their lifetime.
While engaging with them over a research survey, I witnessed the ignorance and inequalities of healthcare access that they live with and found for many, Hypertension was the new word in their dictionary and Thalassemia was a foreign borne disease.
iKure team attended the patients and screened their vitals; high BP, low Haemoglobin count, Blood Glucose and cataract like conditions were alarming high as these conditions are known risk factors for complications, deaths and lifelong disabilities, however, exacerbating this reality is the fact that access to healthcare in such tribal areas is still widely unmet and inadequate.
Our effort to start afresh in areas that remain largely dislocated and remote is driven by the unmet demand of primary healthcare, unavailability of medicines and huge distance between healthcare facilities. In the aftermath of Covid-19, low immunity, lack of medical facilities and compromised health conditions are at higher risk and tribal communities amongst others remain highly exposed.
While our efforts are ensuring awareness and health sensitization, adequate supply of essential care and community health workers driven healthcare model can be a sustainable option to minimize the inequalities posed by our healthcare system.
Dr Tirumala Santra Mandal
Research & Communications Analyst