What Strategies Implemented to Decrease Emerging Infections?
For a long time, India has been dealing with infectious diseases. In history, you will find millions of deaths due to outbreaks of communicable diseases. Earlier, the lack of proper sanitation and hygiene maintenance has led to the rapid transmission of diseases. The living conditions in rural areas were extremely bad and unhygienic.
Over the years, the government and public health departments, along with social communities and NGOs, came forward to provide the necessary treatment to the people. With aggressive efforts, each region has got access to basic healthcare facilities and treatments. Moreover, people were educated and trained on common infectious diseases to protect themselves and their families. All the efforts have reduced emerging infectious diseases and created awareness in society.
Let’s go through the strategies taken by the government and the healthcare programmes to decrease the infection rate.
Improved Sanitation Facilities In Rural Areas
Rural villages of India didn’t follow sanitation habits. Most households lacked sanitation facilities. This has led to suffering from waterborne emerging infectious diseases like diarrhoea, cholera, typhoid etc. Diarrhoea was the third most common death in children. Nearly 13% of deaths, with an estimated number of 300,000 children in India witnessed every year. With the support of the government and NGOs, the sanitation service increased to 59.5%. From 2014 to 2019, the government constructed 110 million toilets. Basic sanitation reached up to 93.3% in 2019.
Access To Safe Drinking Water
Earlier, about 99 million people in India didn’t have access to safe drinking water. Consumption of unsafe water has led to emerging infectious diseases, which killed 500 children each day in their fifth year due to diarrhoea. Necessary actions were taken to provide piped drinking water in the areas where safe water was unavailable. Major steps were taken against government corruption, lack of planning projects, increased corporate privatisation, and improper human waste disposal, which led to the water crisis. Hence, effective measures were undertaken before turning the worst in future.
Awareness For Personal Hygiene
People were advised to maintain personal hygiene to reduce emerging infections in India. With the help of healthcare programmes, they were educated to practise good personal hygiene and keep their external body clean. This was important for both physical and mental health. Children were taught in the school to frequently wash their hands after playing, eating, and coming in contact with animals. Poor personal hygiene will lead the germs to enter your body, and finally, it becomes a host to viruses and bacteria and helps them multiply. The awareness programs were conducted in the villages to help people clean their surroundings.
Open Defecation Free India
The myths against using toilets have led people to defecate in the outer surrounding, which has driven the emerging infections in India. It was especially a huge problem in the backward areas and villages. The lack of appropriate toilets was also the reason behind open defecation in India. Only 32.7 per cent of its rural households had access to sanitation facilities. Now it has turned to 98.8 percent with millions of newly constructed toilets.
Before, India was NO.1 for open defecation, with about 344 million people often practising defecation, based on the World Health Organization and UNICEF report of 2017. The government has put all its efforts into making it 100 % open-defecation-free. The National Annual Rural Sanitation Survey from 2019 to 2020 showed that 0.8 % of rural areas were without access to regular toilets, which was 6.8 % from 2018-2019.
Immediate Access To Healthcare Services
Healthcare statistics show that about 1.6 trillion Indian rupees were invested in public healthcare in 2018. Today, every region of India has access to immediate healthcare facilities and emergency care. The governments of different states are providing free ambulance services for urgent medical care. Technological advancements were integrated into hospitals for advanced treatment. Now, India has effective treatment for every disease and disorder.
Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) is the major public health programme in India which targets to immunise around 2.67 crore newborns and 2.9 crores of pregnant women each year. Under this program, immunisation is provided freely against diseases such as Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio, Diphtheria, severe forms of Childhood Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B Measles, Rubella, and Meningitis and Pneumonia caused by Haemophilus Influenzae type B.
These are the effective strategies taken by the Government of India and the health ministry to reduce the infection. The public awareness programs, SHGs and NGOs participated in driving the strategies.