DEHRADUN, India / Oxford, UK, March 24 (IPS) – 2020 will be remembered as the year that changed the world, as COVID-19 has not spared any country, community or person. As the pandemic continues into 2021, there is recognition that some groups have been affected more than others, not only by the virus itself, but also by social and economic inequality and access that has been exacerbated by the global lockdown. Globally, countries and organizations are striving to build back better and address inequalities.
António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, has emphasized that we have ignored inequality for too long, bearing in mind Poor people are at greater risk During the pandemic.
UK based studies Check it out: People in affluent regions are 50 times less likely to die from COVID-19, while black people and people with disabilities are 4 and 3 times more likely to die from COVID-19, respectively.
A third of people between the ages of 18 and 24 have lost their jobs – twice the rate of working-age adults. The disproportionate impacts on women include reduced reproductive health rights; Increased unpaid care responsibilities; More domestic violence; And a record drop in women leaving the workforce. together, These trends Global gains threaten equity and inclusion.
India embodies the challenges and inequalities that many in low- and middle-income countries faced during the pandemic. India’s poor have been hardest hit in everything from the disease itself to the economic and social impacts of national lockdowns.
Dozens of migrants walked hundreds of kilometers to their villages, for example People lost in the informal sector Their jobs, livelihoods and homes. Public and private healthcare facilities have attempted to support COVID-19 patients, however Reports question Accessibility and equality of services for the poor. EconomicallyExperts predict that millions of people in India will become impoverished due to the epidemic.
For global health more broadly, the pandemic threatened to reverse progress in recent decades and underscored how we have neglected calls to strengthen health systems in recent years. Nevertheless, as we see opportunities and calls to “build back better”, the global health community must first ask itself “What’s wrong with global health?” So we avoid these systemic problems and build a more inclusive world.
The truth is, many things went wrong in global health before 2020. And even now, we have seen certain forgotten groups in the global health space. For example, only 0.5% of international development funding goes to disability inclusive programs. Even Little of this goes directly to global health, Regardless of the fact that Persons with disabilities make up 15% of the world’s population. COVID-19 has amplified the neglect of people with disabilities.
For example, the Indian COVID-19 tracker, Aarogya Setu applicationPublic health advisories and testing sites remained unavailable to persons with disabilities. In closures, Persons with disabilities also encountered difficulties in accessing Essential food, information, medicine and supplies.
We propose three approaches to addressing inequality in access to global health:
- Marginalized and underrepresented groups need better real representation. Global health organizations should constantly ask themselves who is not represented or reached in their programs, and take effective steps to fix this. Engaging defenders and activists from the start will encompass the needs of at-risk populations and promote acceptance, inclusion and belonging.
- Global health needs better, timely, realistic and accessible communication. Creating accessible and acceptable communication strategies and messages that are deployed to reach even remote areas is key to ensuring that global health is connected to all.
- Be together. Governments, civil society, and international organizations must collaborate to distribute resources As appropriate. Distributive justice can ensure greater security for everyone – be it health, income, or employment – which ultimately impacts our collective ability to cope with disasters, such as epidemics.
COVID-19 has been a pivotal moment and provides a unique opportunity to rebuild a better, fairer and healthier world. Yet without an explicit focus on inequality, we risk neglecting those forgotten by global health, despite our moral obligation and duty to protect.
In 2020, we showed that everything is possible with political will, dedicated funding, and global action. In 2021, we need a paradigm shift in our approach to global health that captures those who need it most. We must apply what we learned from collective action for COVID-19 to the biggest challenge facing our society: inequality. By addressing this, we are ensuring that global health is truly available to everyone.
Resemble Nagash He is a physician and global health consultant based in Dehradun, India. It strives to make childhood disability a global health priority.
Sarah Rothenberg He is a Rhodes Scholar and PhD student in Health Sciences in the Nuffield Department of Primary Health Care Sciences at the University of Oxford.
© Inter Press Service (2021) – All rights reservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service