Public Health Crisis In India
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented outbreak globally. In India, there are more than 5.7 million cases reported and over 90,000 deaths. It has become a huge disaster to the India which is public health crisis for this crowded developing country.
However, COVID-19 is not the only enemy faced by India. Another “ticking bomb” Tuberculosis (TB), which has not been dealt with for decades, is the biggest hidden danger in India. Experts predict that more than 1.4 million Indians will die due to Tuberculosis. A health disaster is silently unfolding.
COVID-19 Hits India’s Tuberculosis Programme Hard
India has reported a 60 per cent decrease in tuberculosis notifications due to COVID-19 country lockdown. The government said it could be 5lakh additional cases and 1.5lakh deaths due to tuberculosis as COVID-19 hits their medical services.
Tuberculosis (TB) known as an infectious disease usually caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) bacteria. It generally affects the human respiratory system and causes a serious issue in other parts of the body.
There are more than 2.7 million tuberculosis patients and about 4.2 lakh people die every year. Now, the medical gap in India caused by COVID-19 is accelerating the growth of this data. Indian pulmonologists predict that there will be 6.3 million tuberculosis cases in India by 2025, which may cause 1.4million deaths.
According to the information given, there are almost 65 million people in India live in crowded slums with extremely poor sanitation. It has caused the country’s tuberculosis and other respiratory diseases spread even faster compared to another country.
Neglect of Public Health Care
For far too long, the Indians have done nothing to put pressure on their politicians in making health care a national priority.
Public health care infrastructure in India has long suffered from neglect and a persistent lack of funding. This has left the system ill-equipped to control deadly diseases such as tuberculosis.
The Indian government spent less than 2 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) in public health for the past 10 years. This proportion has continued to decline, with last year only 1.1 per cent of GDP going to public health care. It does not only caused India the third country to pass 4 million coronavirus infections, but also one of the countries with the highest tuberculosis cases.
Hence, tuberculosis is the biggest hidden danger faced by India.
India: The Next Superpower?
India has pursued the dream to become a superpower country for many years. Therefore, armament infrastructures have become the main focus of the Indian government, which led by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
Now, India is the third-largest military spender in the world after USA and China. The military expenses rose by 6.8 per cent to $71.1 billion in 2019.
Modi’s attention to medical care and other relevant aspects is far from enough. This has lower the living standard of Indian people. As soon as the COVID-19 pandemic is encountered, the medical system in India collapses and other respiratory diseases such as tuberculosis are still spreading quietly.
With such severe circumstances, it is already difficult for India people to stay alive, how can they support Narendra Modi’s ambitions?
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Prepared by: Keanwah Goh