‘Trust deficit in health facilities a major hurdle in tackling COVID19 in rural, tribal areas’

In an interview with Gaon Connection, Yogesh Kalkonde, a public health researcher working in the rural-tribal areas of Maharashtra, shares his experience and insight on the challenges in tackling COVID19 in India’s remote corners.

Gaon Connection
| Updated: June 28th, 2021

With an aim to inform the viewers about the challenges in tackling the COVID19 pandemic in the rural and tribal areas of the country, Yogesh Kalkonde, a public health expert spoke about issues like the trust deficit in the inhabitants towards government’s healthcare which hinders effective management of the crisis.

In an interview with Nidhi Jamwal, Deputy Managing Editor of Gaon Connection, India’s biggest rural media platform, Kalkonde, a neurologist and a public health researcher said that effective communication is key to managing the COVID19.

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“It it a challenge for any health professional to deal with this Corona pandemic. Such an event occurs once in hundred years. It’s a new disease and its treatment is based on the information which is constantly being updated,” Kalkonde said.

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“The challenge is even more difficult in the tribal and rural areas and it is vital for the health professionals to connect well with the people living here. Their fears have to be understood in order to deal with the problem. Absence of availability of data and lack of people’s trust in government machinery make things difficult,” he told Gaon Connection.

The doctor emphasised on the need to have credible data on the tribal and the rural populations without which, he said, it becomes difficult to generate a state response to a crisis of such magnitude.

“As it is said that in order to manage you need to measure first. Without having a detailed data about the people who are to receive healthcare benefits, the response of the healthcare systems cannot be efficient,” Kalkonde said.

Gaon Connecition has frequently reported on the state of affairs in the rural and tribal areas of the country ever since the COVID19 pandemic began to make inroads in these areas.

Also Read: Addressing vaccine hesitancy in rural India, one jab at a time

Vaccine hesitancy and the governments’ efforts to convince the local populations to get the jab has been a major part of Gaon Connection’s reportage.