3. What are the common strategies for mitigating the effects of a pandemic? Explain by taking the ongoing COVID pandemic as a case study. (15 Marks)
महामारी के प्रभावों को कम करने के लिए सामान्य रणनीतियाँ क्या हैं? चल रही COVID महामारी को केस स्टडी के रूप में लेते हुए स्पष्ट करें।
Candidates need to explain the common strategies for mitigating the effects of a pandemic. One should explain by taking the ongoing COVID pandemic as a case study.
Pandemics are large-scale outbreaks of infectious disease that can greatly increase morbidity and mortality over a wide geographic area and cause significant economic, social, and political disruption. Evidence suggests that the likelihood of pandemics has increased over the past century because of increased global travel and integration, urbanization, changes in land use, and greater exploitation of the natural environment.
The Common Strategies for Mitigating the Effects of a Pandemic
- Pathogens with pandemic potential vary widely in the resources, capacities, and strategies required for mitigation. However, there are also common prerequisites for effective preparedness and response.
- The most cost-effective strategies for increasing pandemic preparedness, especially in resource-constrained settings, consist of investing to strengthen core public health infrastructure, including water and sanitation systems; increasing situational awareness; and rapidly extinguishing sparks that could lead to pandemics.
- Once a pandemic has started, a coordinated response should be implemented focusing on maintenance of situational awareness, public health messaging, reduction of transmission, and care for and treatment of the ill.
- Successful contingency planning and response require surge capacity—the ability to scale up the delivery of health interventions proportionately for the severity of the event, the pathogen, and the population at risk.
- For many poorly prepared countries, surge capacity likely will be delivered by foreign aid providers.
- This is a tenable strategy during localized outbreaks, but global surge capacity has limited that likely will be reached during a full-scale global pandemic as higher-capacity states focus on their own populations.
- Risk transfer mechanisms, such as risk pooling and sovereign-level catastrophe insurance, provide a viable option for managing pandemic risk.
THE ONGOING COVID PANDEMIC AS A CASE STUDY
- The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has been particularly challenging for nursing home staff and residents.
- Centres for Medicare & Medicaid Services regulation waivers are burdening staff and affecting how care is delivered.
- Residents are experiencing social isolation, which can result in physical and behavioural health issues, particularly for persons with dementia.
- Addressing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting recession on the ECE sector will require that state, local, and tribal decision makers use available COVID-19 relief funds to mitigate those impacts while also laying the foundation for longer-term solutions.
- These challenges can be addressed in part through technology adaptations.
- Full integration of electronic health record systems can improve workflow and care quality.
- Telehealth can improve access to outside providers, provide remote monitoring, and improve social connectedness.
- Electronic and audio-visual programs can be used for end-of-life planning and information sharing between nursing home staff and families.
- Online learning systems and other online resources provide flexible options for staff education and training.
- Investing in and adapting technology can help mitigate workforce stress and improve the quality of nursing home care during and after the COVID-19 crisis.
Preparing for a pandemic is challenging because of a multitude of factors, many of which are unique among natural disasters. Pandemics are rare events, and the risk of occurrence is influenced by anthropogenic changes in the natural environment. Building pandemic situational awareness is complex, requiring coordination across bureaucracies, across the public and private sectors, and across disciplines with different training and different norms (including epidemiology, clinical medicine, logistics, and disaster response). However, an appropriately sized and trained health workforce (encompassing doctors, nurses, epidemiologists, veterinarians, laboratorians, and others) that is supported by adequate coordination systems is a fundamental need.