New Delhi [India], June 12 (ANI): The Government of India has been working towards effective COVID-19 management in rural India by a sustained strengthening of the rural health infrastructure and through focussed public health measures in active collaboration with the States, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare informed on Saturday.
As per the ministry's release, there have been some media reports alleging inconsistency from the Government of India response in providing adequate healthcare infrastructure and services and 'scaling of the tragedy' in rural areas, terming it as 'invisibilisation of rural India' during the pandemic.
The Government of India has been proactively working towards effective COVID-19 management in rural India by a sustained strengthening of the multi-level health infrastructure, and through focussed public health measures in active collaboration with the States, the ministry said.
"The development of health infrastructure is a continuous activity. Guided by a sharp focus on the underserved geographical regions and through various policies, schemes, public health interventions and active partnership with the States and Union Territories (UTs), the Government of India is committed to strengthening the rural health infrastructure," it said.
The health ministry said there is a widespread network of government health facilities in rural areas.
"As on March 31, 2020, there are 1,55,404 Sub Health Centres (SHCs) and 24,918 Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in the rural area and 5,895 urban PHCs across the country. Additionally, the Ayushman Bharat- Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWC) (launched in April 2018) marked a watershed moment in India's public health history. As on date, there are 75,995 functional Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) in the country (50,961 SHC-HWCs, 21,037 PHC-HWCs and 3,997 urban PHCs)," read the release.
"A total of 1,50,000 Sub-Health Centres and Primary Health Centres in urban and rural areas will be transformed to AB-HWCs by December 2022 and deliver comprehensive primary health care that includes preventive and health promotion at the community level with continuum of care and which is universal, free and close to the community in rural and urban areas, with focus also on wellness," it said.
The ministry said free essential diagnostics are provided - 14 diagnostic tests at HSC level and 63 diagnostic tests at PHC level and Free essential medicines are provided- 105 medicines at SHC level and 172 medicines at PHC level.
To date, about 50.29 crore people have accessed care in these AB-HWCs. About 54 percent of them are women, the ministry said.
It highlighted that more than 6 million Teleconsultations have been done through the e-Sanjeevani Platform and out of this, 26.42 lakhs Teleconsultations have been done at the HWCs.
Further, taking note of the spread of the disease to peri-urban and rural areas in many districts, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on May 16, 2021, had issued an "SOP on Covid-19 containment and management in Peri-Urban, Rural and Tribal Areas". (ANI)