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Impacts of Monsoon on Health UPSC NOTE

 


Impacts of Monsoon on Health

  • Common water and vector-borne diseases such as typhoid, cholera, dysentery, leptospirosis, malaria, and dengue are likely to impact people in rain-affected areas. 

  • Conditions in these areas are most likely to be conducive for the spread of water and vector-borne diseases.

  • Households in urban areas, particularly in less developed parts of a city such as slums and urban settlement colonies, are likely to be the most vulnerable groups. 

  • A large majority of people in these slums and resettlement colonies live in poverty, working in the informal sector of the urban economy with no social security benefits.

  • Urban households in general with poor socio-economic indicators are more vulnerable to malaria, when compared to their rural counterparts.

  • Dengue too affects the urban population more.

  • Households from climatically high and moderately high vulnerable States are at greater odds of suffering from malaria.

Steps to be taken

  • Post the monsoon season, water and vector-borne disease management officials are on high alert to monitor and contain the spread of such diseases. 

  • Controlling the spread of these diseases requires a systematic and coordinated effort not only within but also between two or more States.

  • One reason is because of the movement of people between States. 

  • Therefore, coordinating mitigation and adaptation efforts can be a challenge.

  • Given increasing exposure to unpredictable and extreme climatic events, we need to rebuild the urban primary health-care system and ensure its resilience. 

  • Such a system should focus on the vulnerable urban population, especially those living in urban slums and peri-urban areas. 

  • A resilient health system is one which can respond to emergency situations, prepare well in advance against impending crises and adapt to changing public health needs.

  • A crucial prerequisite for this is greater public investment with an immediate focus on urban areas that are more vulnerable to climatic shocks. 

    • We spend very little on primary health care and only a tiny fraction goes to urban local bodies.

  • Even though the National Urban Health Mission has made modest beginnings in improving primary-care systems in urban areas, the limited and varied ability of urban local bodies in generating revenues constrains progress.

  • A large part of preventive and public health functions are the responsibilities of local bodies.

  • What is essential is a special fund from statutory institutions such as the Finance Commission that is targeted towards building a resilient system for vulnerable urban areas. 

  • Such attention needs to go beyond cities, to towns.

  • It is important to recognise the complexities of urban health governance with multiple agencies and fragmented care provisioning, alongside the increasing presence and dominance of the private sector. 

  • The experience during the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that public health emergencies need greater coordination and cooperation across various actors in terms of 

    • knowledge and data sharing, preventive and curative functions, treatment practices and, above all, the regulation of rates and standards. 

  • The realm of surveillance and information systems such as the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme needs to be universalised, made comprehensive and strengthened.

  • With the complex nature of the health and the climate crisis, the current system of vertical disease control programmes needs to give way to a comprehensive health system approach in the management of public health programmes.

  • An immediate step in working towards this could be the integration of front line workers across various disease management programmes to create a cadre of multi-purpose, front line public health cadres in urban areas, who would be accountable to communities as well as to the health system. 

  • Such integration will also help address shortage of an adequately trained workforce in health and allied areas.

  • As a system, we most often work in a resource-constrained environment. Therefore, such systems must integrate in their planning and management the idea that climate change-led events are only going to be more frequent and intense. 

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Impacts of Monsoon on Health UPSC NOTE
Impacts of Monsoon on Health UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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