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healthcare | IST

COVID-19 Effect: Massive disruption in routine health services; child immunisation, treatment for critical ailments worst-hit

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Child immunisation programs have been the worst hit, which if not restored, could have potentially lifelong impacts on children.

A large scale disruption was witnessed in the routine health services since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country and the lockdowns that followed, shows data released by the National Health Mission.
The data, on the utilisation of health services in April–June 2020, was obtained by tracking more than 200,000 health facilities across all districts, primarily public centres as well as some private centres.
The report shows that immunisations, maternal and child health interventions, treatment for critical ailments and diagnostics, among others were all impacted severely during the April-June period.
Here are the highlights from the report:
Child Immunisation
Child immunisation programs have been the worst hit, which if not restored, could have potentially lifelong impacts on children.
Number of immunisation sessions held came down sharply by 64% in April versus January.
Across all segments, immunisation dropped from 44% to 77% in April versus January 2020.
Nearly 1 million children did not receive their BCG vaccination, which can provide some protection against tuberculosis (TB).
BCG vaccination dropped 50% in April as against January 2020.
BCG vaccination dropped 42% in April as against March 2020.
Another 6 lakh have missed their first dose of oral polio vaccine.
Oral Polio (first dose at birth) dropped 39% in April as against January 2020.
Nearly 1.4 million missed their Pentavalent shot that could protect them from 5 deadly diseases (meningitis, pneumonia, whooping cough, tetanus, hepatitis B and diphtheria).
Pentavalent vaccination dropped 68% in April as against January 2020.
69% children missed their Rotavirus vaccination in April 2020 versus January 2020.
72% children missed their Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccination in April 2020 versus January 2020.
Women & Child Birth
Institutional deliveries (including C-sections) fell by 35% in the month of April versus March 2020.
Regular testing for hemoglobin & ante-natal checks in pregnant women dropped 51% in April versus January 2020 & 47% versus March 2020.
OPDs
All allopathic OPDs dropped by half in April as compared to earlier months.
Outpatient services for critical ailments like oncology, acute heart diseases, ophthalmic have dropped 76% in April 2020 versus January 2020.
Critical ailment OPDs remained unavailable till June -- nearly 70% down in June quarter versus March quarter.
OPDs for diabetes, hypertension have reduced more than 40%.
Inpatient Services
Inpatient services overall had already started seeing the impact in March. In April, the services were down 62% versus January 2020.
Inpatient services for critical ailments COPD, asthma, respiratory infections, tuberculosis fell more than 60%.
The number of surgeries has halved between January and April.
The biggest drop was seen in elective surgeries – 82% down in the April-June quarter versus the Jan-Mar quarter.
Diagnostics has seen a sharp fall too across segments
Overall lab tests fell 63% in April versus January.
HIV tests see sharp fall in April, May and June – 65% down in Apr-June versus Jan-Mar.