Bhubaneswar: The Odia doctor’s diaspora in UK held a Video conference on Monday, which was coordinated by Dr Aiswarya Biswal and they discussed about the Covid-19 and its challenges to Odisha at present and in the future. While developed countries such as the UK and USA struggled with Covid-19 with high death rates the experts in the field of healthcare agreed that early lockdown and adopting strict social distancing measures by the government has definitely slowed down the spread of Coronavirus in the state even though it still poses a big challenge to the public health and poor health infrastructure in the state.
The senior doctors have praised the role of media in educating and increasing the awareness of public about Coronavirus. They shared that media, as the guardian of society has a responsibility to guide people to take self-responsibility especially maintaining social distancing, wearing masks in public and following government guidelines of lockdown.
Doctors stated that the pandemic has adversely impacted peoples’ mental health and increased stress especially in women and children. Cases of domestic violence and self-harm behaviour have gone up. Healthcare workers and other frontline workers are at greater risk of developing mental health problems as a result of Covid-19. Also the health impact of Covid-19 will not be experienced equally and it has been seen that the virus is more prone to attack people from poorer background and having other physical health problems such as Diabetes, Respiratory problems and heart problems will be disproportionately affected. Remaining active during the lockdown and carrying out physical exercises is a key to improve the immune system and staying healthy.
The virulence of the virus has certainly been slowing down as more and more people are recovering from it but complacency at this point would give rise to a second wave of infection overloading the already stretched healthcare system.
Corona virus at present does not have a treatment nor does it have vaccine, so people should be aware of the fake news of all kind of treatments available from the quacks. The virus infection already increased the social stigma with people who are infected going through severe mental trauma they need to be supported and counselled so that people will not hesitate to report the symptoms of Coronavirus which will help the government to contact tracing and containing the illness.
The experts also reiterated that though Covid-19 brought many challenges, it is also an opportunity to look holistically at our health care system so that a sustainable long term plan can be devised to improve both the healthcare infrastructure such as world class medical and nursing colleges and increasing capacity generation through creating more healthcare professionals for the state so that overall doctors and nurses to the population ratio improves which is one of the lowest at present.
15 doctors of Odia diaspora who joined the conference were Dr Biswamohan Mishra, Dr Aditya Singh, Dr Lipi Pradhan, Dr Prakash Dey, Dr Anupam Brahma, Dr Sanjukta Das, Dr Sucheta Paltasingh, Dr Nilamadhav Kar, Dr Sailesh Mishra, Dr Ashok Mohanty, Dr Sankalpa Basu, Dr Jeenita Mohanty, Dr SantwanaThakur and Dr Debakanta Behera. They are working in the National Health Service in UK and experts in the fields of Medicine, Psychiatry, Gynaecology, Paediatrics, Dentistry, General Practice, Anaesthesia, Respiratory Medicine and Pain Management.