As India is preparing to vaccinate most of its population against the COVID-19 disease, India’s immunisation programme and its readiness have come to the fore as a matter of discussion. Immunisation is a proven tool to control and eliminate life-threatening diseases. India has numerous schemes and programmes to save its population from various diseases and it has the legacy of adhering to reach the goals it set for itself. The Government of India in collaboration with the States runs various immunisation programmes throughout the country and ensures the health and wellness of its population. At the same, the country faces several challenges in delivering vaccines to targeted beneficiaries and thus it will be keenly observed how the nation deals with the challenges in administering its immunisation programmes.
In a recent development, the High Court of Gujarat proposed a set of nine-point guidelines to combat the problem of menstrual taboo in India. The bench also sought the opinion of the state and centre on the proposed set of guidelines. This has brought the issue of menstrual hygiene to the centre of discussion. Menstrual taboo and hygiene have been a topic of discussion for a long time in India yet there has been very little progress noticed in this domain. Taboos related to menstruation have multi-dimensional effects on a woman’s life and health. There is a lack of awareness among Indian women regarding menstrual hygiene. Given such a grim situation, it has become important that these issues are taken for discussion and appropriate measures are taken to address these issues.
Recently, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) set norms to limit the use of industrial TFA in oils and food items. Importance of a healthy population for the economy has become more evident than ever in light of the current pandemic. Evidences also show that co-morbidities like cardiovascular disease could prove fatal for COVID-19 patients. However a lot of challenge lay ahead in bringing in a healthy food system in a country as large as India.
In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, communicable diseases have become the focus of every nation yet the concern for non-communicable diseases(NCDs) cannot be overlooked. It has been noticed during the crisis that those who were suffering from comorbidities were the worst sufferers. The comorbidities were none other than non-communicable diseases(NCDs) that made people more vulnerable to the pandemic. A modeling study published in The Lancet Global Health suggests that, worldwide, one in five people are at an increased risk of severe COVID-19 if they become infected, mostly as a result of underlying NCDs. Several countries saw disruptions in providing regular healthcare services to the patients suffering from NCDs due to the focus on COVID-19 and because the economic state of the countries was in shock. The pandemic showed the extent of the burden that NCDs pose on health resources. In such a situation, the pandemic has again brought back the focus on NCDs that need to be tackled efficiently to tackle any further risk to people’s health all over the world.
In the last few decades, suicide has emerged as one of the common causes of death in India. A large number of people lose their lives every year to suicide in India. Suicide has emerged as a serious public health issue in our country. It leaves a major social, economic and emotional burden on those who are left behind. Hence, it has become important to delve deep into the issue and look into the various aspects related to it.
Even as the COVID-19 situation continues for more than a year, another virus has started wreaking havoc in India by causing bird flu. As birds- both domestic and wild- continue to drop dead across the country, states have started large scale culling operations in a bid to control its spread. The disease’s timing and its impact on the poultry sector has made it a very significant issue in the beginning of 2021.
The COVID-19 crisis has exposed our fragility, with health systems strained and social safety nets stretched to the limit. The economic downturn caused by the global pandemic may drive more people to substance abuse or leave them vulnerable to involvement in drug trafficking and related crime. According to the World Drug Report, 2020 published by UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) recently, about 269 million people used drugs in 2018, which was 30% more than the 2009 figure, with adolescents and young adults accounting for the largest share of users and also, it has highlighted the possible consequences of COVID-19 on the production, supply and consumption of illicit drugs. An Annual Action Plan for 2020-21 called Nasha Mukt Bharat was e-launched for the 272 Most Affected Districts by Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment on the occasion of “International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking”.
With the threat of climate change and the subsequent impact of it on the monsoon patterns and agricultural output, all stakeholders must mitigate food waste by employing new practices at multiple levels. At a time when it was reported that migrants died due to hunger and starvation during the lockdown period in April and May 2020, The data revealed recently highlights that over 1,550 tonnes of food grains got damaged in Food Corporation of India (FCI) warehouses.
Violence against women in India is an issue deeply rooted in societal norms and economic dependence. Female feticide, domestic violence, sexual harassment and other forms of gender-based violence constitute the reality of most girls’ and women’s lives in India. During the first four phases of the COVID-19-related lockdown, Indian women filed more domestic violence complaints than recorded in a similar period in the last 10 years. But even this unusual spurt is only the tip of the iceberg as 86% of women who experience domestic violence do not seek help in India.