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Ensuring a Scientific Approach to COVID-19 Management: Significance of Streamlined Medicine Accessibility

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The panel with eminent speakers from state health departments deliberated about how an empathizing, accurate and well-developed healthcare model can help people to handle uncertainty and fear during the crisis.

Initiating the discussion, Dr Ravi Gupta, CEO & Founder, Elets Technomedia Ltd, welcomed the panelists and asked the panelists to talk about the latest initiatives taken by them respective states during the pandemic.

The panelists were Dr. Rathan U. Kelkar, Mission Director, National Health Mission, Government of Kerala. Dr. G Dewan, MD, NHM and Director Health Services, Chandigarh Administration. Dr. Heera Lal, Additional Mission Director, National Health Mission Government of Uttar Pradesh.Professor Sarman Singh, Director and CEO, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhopal. Dr Suraj Bhan Kamboj, Director General Health Services, Government of Haryana, Dr. Hmangaihi Dir, Director, Medical Education & Head of Zoan Medical College, Government of Mizoram, Naresh Hasija, Associate Vice President, Mylan Pharmaceutical Pvt Ltd and Dr Sanjay Hadigal, Senior Manager, Medical Affairs, Mylan Pharmaceutical Pvt Ltd.

Professor Sarman Singh, Director and CEO, All India Institute of Medical, Sciences, Bhopal, said, ” The pandemic has showcased the strengths and weaknesses. Many of the medical colleges are carrying out the exams via online. The AIIMS pan India is mentoring all the medical colleges in their respective states on how to conduct exams, virtual clinical management, availability of medicines, PPEs. Therefore these days we have become more virtual. Every week with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), ICMR all the AIIMS conducts Centre of Excellence (CoE) webinar. As the theme of the summit Adapt and Arise I hope each institution has risen for the occasion the ICMR, AIIMS Delhi and MCI have done unprecedented to combat the virus.”

Dr. G Dewan, MD, NHM and Director Health Services, Chandigarh Administration,”Testing facilities are in place now. Per day we are doing about 700 antigen testing in the state.We have scaled up infrastructure to tackle cases. We also have started a door to door initiative by ANM on the line of polio campaign to detect cases among asymptomatic patients. We have made transit beds for COVID-19 patients. Home isolation facilities have also been allowed for patients having moderate symptoms. We were the first state to introduce the sticker that a family has COVID-19 patients, which was stuck outside a house so the neighbours can take preventive measures.This pandemic has brought in challenges of both physical and mental health so we are continuously giving counselling for the patients.”

Giving the perspective of the pharma company, Naresh Hasija, Associate Vice President, Mylan Pharmaceutical Pvt Ltd said ,” We supply our medicines to 165 countries. Our foremost importance was given to protect our staff, particularly in the factories and manufacturing facilities. Mylan is supplying remdesivir medicine directly to 15 state governments and our huge manufacturing facilities which can produce half a billion vile and we can scale it up at any moment. We make sure that essential drugs will not be of short supply.”

He also added that apart from supplying remdesivir COVID-19 medicines their top priority will be concentrating on a smooth supply of other medicines for tuberculosis, viral hepatitis and HIV.

Dr. Rathan U. Kelkar, Mission Director, National Health Mission, Government of Kerala said,” The pandemic has reached various stages in various states. In Kerala strategy has been to active, passive surveillance and contract tracing so that we will be able to identify index cases and try to break the chain. We are following all the COVID-19 protocols. Our main agenda was to curb public not to spread the virus and we are focusing on controlling the mortality and have various campaigns for old people and affected with co-morbidities. The state has been quite successful in curbing the spread of the virus. Also, we have involved the private sector. They are assisting us to maintain the ICUs, ventilators with the Ayushman Bharat were able to work with him in a cost-effective way. In days to come we will be able to bend the curve.”

Dr Sanjay Hadigal, Senior Manager, Medical Affairs, Mylan Pharmaceutical Pvt Ltd, “We are scientific driven organization and have conducted educational programs via webinars related to COVID-19. The educational program discusses the real basics and various concepts of the virus, preventive strategy. We are also trying to get this module to various state health departments so they can benefit from it.”

Dr. Hmangaihi Dir, Director, Medical Education & Head of Zoan Medical College, Government of Mizoram, said, ” Our is a very small state. It has very less population of 30 lakhs only and the state government is working to combat the virus. Now the main problem we face is para military forces are moving in and almost 90 percent of them are being testing positive in quarantine centres and with the borders opening up we have many truck drivers carrying essential commodities are undergoing antigen testing. We have good participation from IMA, Mizoram branch.

Dr. Heera Lal, Additional Mission Director, National Health Mission Government of Uttar Pradesh, said, “In India the way we tackled the COVID-19 is satisfactory. If we compare ourselves to developed nations we have managed to tackle the virus well. Right now the main issue is we have been burdened healthwise and economically too in the coming six months we need to build a strategy to focus on other issues particularly other communicable and non communicable illnesses as well.”

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