The COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the globe and the already pressured healthcare system is down to its knees. Currently, the deadly second wave of the virus is sweeping across India at an alarming rate. Record breaking numbers of infection rates and deaths continue to plague the country on a daily basis. With the threat of a third and fourth wave looming over us, getting vaccinated against this virus is our only hope.
Rural India- A silent crisis
There is no denying that urban areas and big cities are struggling to keep up with the spread of the virus. Simultaneously, there is an ongoing silent crisis in rural India caused by the fear of getting infected and a huge knowledge gap which has made accessing affordable primary healthcare much more difficult for the people. It has been observed that people are deferring their visits to the clinics as they believe healthcare facilities to be the epicentre for the virus. Therefore, at a time when healthcare services are more important than ever before, people are scared of availing the necessary treatment. The overall case load seems to be coming down in India, however, that is not reflective of the ground realities of rural areas because there are no testing facilities in most parts.
The environment is wrought with stress and anxiety, taking a toll on not just our physical health but also our mental health. Owing to misinformation, deep-rooted stigma and myths, the vaccination penetration in rural parts of the country is also quite slow.