What are India’s preventive steps in Combating emerging infectious diseases?

Over the past 21st century decades, even with all the tech development influence across socio-economic and health sectors, global communities have witnessed multiple epidemic events that have led us to believe how vulnerable humans are towards infectious diseases.  Due to the interdependent nature of our world today, any person could be at risk from an emerging threat that arises in one region. Emerging infectious diseases are still a major challenge in India, along with constantly facing threats from re-emerging and new diseases. 

This could be due to various factors like climate change, rapid urbanization, low levels of public health literacy, limited access to quality healthcare and lack of adequate surveillance mechanisms. All these factors are increasing challenges for India to make early detection and respond to emerging infectious disease outbreaks. Let’s check out what initiatives and measures India is taking to control the spread of emerging infectious diseases.

India’s collaboration and initiatives for health security

In its efforts to stop and limit the spread of newly emerging infections in India, the country has been proactive about taking the initiative. India has implemented a variety of measures to address the problem, including both short-term and long-term approaches. 

  • GHSA

The Global Health Security Agenda, or GHSA, was launched in February 2014; up until now, we have participated with 50 plus countries, international organizations and non-governmental stakeholders. Its goal is to build a safe and secure world by combating infectious disease threats and improving global health security. India is also a part of this multilateral and multi-sectoral approach. This agenda improves the ability of countries and the world in a broader sense to stop, identify, and address threats from infectious illnesses that affect both humans and animals, whether they spread accidentally or on purpose or naturally.

  • USAID 

In order to prevent disease outbreaks, USAID works with partners in India to close gaps in the early detection of risks. USAID is enhancing India’s capacity to prevent and minimize emerging infectious disease outbreaks, detect dangers early, and respond with a prompt and concerted effort to save lives by focusing on the connections between animal and human health in its strategic response.

  • IHR

The IHR, which offers a framework for international collaboration in the event of public health emergencies, has India as a signatory. India is taking a proactive role in IHR activities and exercises for health security and combating emerging infections in India. India regularly updates its national IHR strategy.

  • WHO

India is a member of WHO and participates in several projects and programmes relating to health security. WHO has been closely collaborating with the Indian Government on various public health programs like disease surveillance, health system strengthening, outbreak response, etc. 

India’s preventive steps to combat emerging infectious diseases

  • Surveillance and early detection

The Indian Government has set up a robust surveillance system in place to quickly identify and address infectious disease epidemics. One such program is Integrated Illness Surveillance Program, which aims to identify disease outbreaks early on and stop their spread. 

  • Vaccination

One of the world’s greatest vaccination programs is carried out in India, which protects people against diseases that can be prevented by vaccination. In order to combat newly emerging infectious diseases, the Government has also released new vaccines, such as the H1N1 shot, which aids in containing the flu.

  • Public Awareness

The Government has begun a number of efforts to educate the general public on infectious illness cause, symptoms, and precautions. This comprised conducting health fairs, and workshops, using a variety of media outlets to reach a wider audience.

  • Strengthening health infrastructure

India has taken initiatives to improve its public health infrastructure, including building new institutions and renovating those that already exist. This has improved the country’s ability to respond to newly emerging infectious diseases.

  • Research and Development

India’s rapidly expanding research and development industry is dedicated to introducing unique medications, vaccines, and diagnostic devices to combat newly emerging infectious diseases. The major entity in charge of carrying out medical research in the nation is the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

When it comes to preventing and containing newly emerging infectious diseases, India has made big progress. The country has effectively dealt with the outbreaks of many viruses, including the H1N1, SARS, and Nipah virus, among others. It’s commendable how India has continued to give efforts to tackle health issues and is prepared to respond to any new outbreaks that may arise. 

Kshtiz Singh
Author: Kshtiz Singh

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