India’s Health Systems are Not Prepared for Disasters

India’s earthquake rate sums to over 58.6% while almost 80% of the coastline is prone to both cyclones and tsunamis.

India has somewhere around 40-million hectares of land that are prone to natural disasters such as flooding and river erosion. Moreover, almost 70% of cultivable land is likely to suffer from drought.

Natural disasters are far from being something new to India, leading to illnesses and putting a pause in the health systems.

The country is definitely not prepared for disaster as the Indian health systems are having difficulties in addressing such challenges.

The Indian natural disasters cause a lot of disruptions in the health systems. Moreover, it worsens the already existing diseases. Those who work in the health system are not well equipped and unable to face such extreme circumstances during natural disasters, especially when it comes to safeguarding lives and post-disaster management.

India’s medical education teaches doctors to inspect, auscultate, palpate and percuss a human body; however, it does not prepare them for natural disasters and the consequences of such terrible events.

The identification of dead bodies, reproductive health, child health, handling mass emergencies, logistical challenges are not even addressed in medical colleges and hospitals.

What India desperately needs is a dedicated team of doctors present in every health care institution trained to address disasters. More than that, the Government should support the health experts involved in disease-control activities.

The system must provide psychosocial rehabilitation, engage in vector control measures and work together in order to implement a strong mechanism in order to be able to address such important health related issues.