Doctor at the door

Source: The Hindu

Relevance: The article highlights the problems that our healthcare system is struggling with

Synopsis: Doorstep delivery can mitigate the effects of disruption caused by pandemics


Even before the start of the pandemic, health experts warn India of a health epidemic – one that involved Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD). During the pandemic, faults in our healthcare system were seen visibly when access to institution-based treatments was severed suddenly. There is a need for states to introspect how to strengthen the healthcare setup to prevent this from happening again.

An initiative of Tamil Nadu (TN)

TN suffers from a high burden of NCD. The state has very low community control rates for hypertension (7.3%) and diabetes (10.8%). To work on this, it introduced the “Makkalai Thedi Maruthuvam” scheme aimed to take healthcare to the doorsteps of the people.

  • It is a community-based scheme to tackle and treat NCDs and to address the crucial issues of prevention and early detection
  • It included population-based screening for 18 plus population for 10 common conditions—hypertension, diabetes, oral, cervical and breast cancers, TB, Leprosy, kidney disease, Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and mental health
  • Delivery of drugs-hypertension, diabetes to patients above 45 years of age
Impact of NCDs on India

According to India: Health of Nation’s States report: 55% of the total disease burden in India were caused by NCD in 2016. This burden has been increasing across all states from 1990 to 2016.

Way forward

There is a need to necessitate uninterrupted access to health care services, especially when the correlation between NCDs like hypertension, diabetes etc and Corona was clearly known.

States should take an example from the TN model and prepare themselves for the upcoming epidemics. They have to ensure that similar disruption will not happen again.

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