The recently released FICCI-Elsevier White Paper on ‘Infectious Diseases beyond COVID-19’, states that the COVID pandemic has created unprecedented stress on healthcare infrastructure, leaving other infectious diseases largely unattended.
The pandemic has in fact reversed the achievements gained in the past many years which resulted in the decrease in the number of HIV cases, among others. TB during COVID is another threat which may lead to nearly twenty per cent more deaths due to delay in detection and treatment. The White Paper highlights the requirement of a robust care through localized evidence-based solutions and empowerment of HCWs in improving health indicators.
According to the White Paper in India, over 20–22 lakh infants are targeted for vaccination in national programs every month who were not vaccinated due to suspended vaccination sessions. Hence, there is a threat of an outbreak of such diseases which are vaccine-preventable. Further, health status of elderly is another serious concern due to the psychosocial impact of the pandemic. The White Paper was released in a webinar attended by distinguished group of panelists.
Speaking on the occassion Shankar Kaul, MD, Elsevier India said this whitepaper is the first step towards developing the eco-system of a resilient point of care knowledge infrastructure to deal with uncertainties at the point of care.