Thursday May 23, 2019
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Community Health Centres deprived of specialists

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

New Delhi: An IndiaSpend analysis revealed that the Indian public health systems are in dire need of attention and investment, especially in the rural areas. With a shortage of 83 percent of medical specialists, stated by the Rural Health Statistics, 2015 and released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Community Health Centres if ignored would leave a lot of people helpless. Arunachal Pradesh, Kerala, Manipur, Meghalaya and Tamil Nadu are some of the states that have no surgeons in their CHCs. Then there is a 76-percent shortage of obstetricians and gynaecologists in CHCs nationwide.

AIIMS_slumAn ideal CHC is a 30-bedded hospital which is meant to provide specialist care in medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology, surgery, paediatrics, dental and Ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy, unani, siddha and homoeopathy (AYUSH) according to the Indian Public Health Standards prescribed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in 2012. The CHCs constitute the secondary level of health care serving roughly 80,000 people in tribal, hill or desert areas and 120,000 on the plains.

In rural India, 58 percent of hospitalised treatment was carried out in private hospitals, while in urban India the figure was 68 percent, according to the Key Indicators of Social Consumption on Health 2014 survey, carried out by National Sample Survey Office (NSSO). While infant mortality rate declined from 83 per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 44 per 1,000 live births in 2011, and maternal mortality ratio reduced from 570 per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 212 in 2007-2009, both indicators remain high compared to other BRICS countries like Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa, said the WHO.

Such statistics mean that specialised healthcare treatment in rural India is difficult, which has driven rising numbers of people to costlier private healthcare.

(With inputs from IANS)

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China Excludes Taiwan from Participation in World Health Assembly

WHO estimates it needs $98 million to run its Ebola operation. It is facing a funding shortfall of some $63 million

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World health assembly
Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends the 72nd World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, May 20, 2019. VOA

Taiwan is protesting China’s decision to exclude the island from participation in the annual World Health Assembly, calling such action an unjustified political move that could harm global health.

The 72nd session of the World Health Organization’s World Health Assembly takes place May 20-28 in Geneva, Switzerland.

This move is particularly ironic this year, as the theme of the assembly is universal health coverage. Taiwan’s national health system is widely considered one of the best in the world.Taiwan’s minister of health and welfare, Chen Shih-chung, says the island is ready to share its experiences on how to achieve affordable, efficient universal health coverage with the global community.

world health assembly
FILE – Chen Shih-chung, Taiwan’s minister of Health and Welfare, is interviewed by Reuters ahead of the World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization in Geneva, May 20, 2017. VOA

“However, under pressure from the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan is currently excluded by WHO from the global health network,” Chen said. “Inviting Taiwan to participate in the WHA would be consistent with WHO’s espousal of health for all.”

The health minister notes Taiwan’s exclusion poses health risks to everyone. Chen says diseases do not stop at borders, and international cooperation is needed to combat epidemics that could spread to every corner of the world.

Chen tells VOA he has written several letters to WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to protest Taiwan’s exclusion from the World Health Assembly. Chen says he has received no response. He says WHO has even rejected Taiwan’s offer for help in combating the Ebola epidemic in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

world health assembly
WHO estimates it needs $98 million to run its Ebola operation. It is facing a funding shortfall of some $63 million. Wikimedia Commons

“Our president announced we would donate $1 million U.S. to combat Ebola; but this donation, even this donation was not accepted by the WHO. So, this is a pity in our situation. We want to do something, but WHO did not accept us to do something for the world,” Chen said.

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WHO estimates it needs $98 million to run its Ebola operation. It is facing a funding shortfall of some $63 million.

Despite pressure from China, Taiwan’s officials say they have received support for their bid to join the WHO from a number of countries including the United States, Japan, Germany and Australia. (VOA)