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No polio, but miles to go

India has been certified as a polio-free nation by the WHO. It is one of the 11 countries in the South East Asian region to have been thus certified. It has been polio-free since January, 2011, as there have been no new cases of polio-infected patients since then. India embarked on the programme to eradicate polio 19 years ago by vaccinating all children below five under the Pulse Polio Abhiyan. At that time, this disease crippled more than 50,000 children every year.

But we have miles to go before we sleep. Because India has the largest number of tuberculosis patients, child deaths and malnutrition cases.

Shiv Raj, Kinnaur

TB scare

This is with reference to the editorial “India’s TB scare” (March 25). While India is struggling to cure its 2.2 million TB patients, the arrival of the more dreaded drug-resistant TB strain in Mumbai is shocking. India is a poor country, where the majority of the people live in unhygienic conditions and are the victims of malnutrition. It is surprising that despite liberal funding from foreign governments and private agencies, the country has failed to eradicate this scourge. The HIV-TB combination makes a more potent danger.

R.M. Ramaul, Paonta Sahib

Ailing health schemes

Despite the health schemes such as the ESI (meant for less salaried people), ECHS (for ex-armymen) and RSBY (for lower strata people), the poor people do not get medical facilities.

Patients are often referred to private hospitals for treatment by doctors as they allegedly get a huge amount of share for indulging in this malpractice. The ECHS scheme has many loopholes. The budget meant for the ECHS patients goes waste due to the corrupt medical practitioners.

The RBSY scheme has not been popularised adequately. The card issued by the state government is not accepted by many private hospitals due to payment issues. The hospitals providing the services to RSBY beneficiaries are at a loss as insurance companies have not paid them.

It is the right of every patient to get the best medical treatment.

Inderdeep Bedi , via email

Involve ISM docs

Apropos the Oped page article “Ailing social sector and political apathy” (March 27), I would like to add that without involving the ISM (Indian System of Medicine) doctors practising traditional systems of ayurveda, unani and siddha into the mainstream, the dream of providing affordable and accessible healthcare to all cannot be fulfilled. ISM doctors should be permitted access to allopathic practices on the pattern of China where traditional and modern systems of medicine work in tandem. This way, the underutilised ISM workforce can meet the human resource crisis, too. Evidence-based cross-practice should be encouraged.

Dr Naresh Dalal, Jhajjar

Bask in sun’s glory

In very persuasive manner, the editorial “Make hay: sunshine can be bone cheering” (March 31) explains the importance of vitamin D, the main source of which is the sun. It has been conclusively established that its deficiency increases the risk of brain stroke, hypertension, diabetes, cancer and inflammation.

As many as 84% Indians are at risk for vitamin D deficiency. Gone are the days when, in winters, everybody enjoyed basking in the sun. Complexion-conscious young girls drape themselves from head to foot. The government should start awareness programmes to educate the public regarding importance of sun’s rays.

Dr V K Anand, Patiala

Fix Aadhaar pushers

That the Aadhaar project has failed is alarming as thousands of crores of the taxpayers’ money has been pumped into it. The need of the hour is to fix responsibility on the people who envisaged it and pursued it for their vested interests without considering its viability.

The job of exposing these people may again fall on the shoulders of the media and the judiciary.

M.K.JINSI, Zirakpur

Letters to the Editor, typed in double space, should not exceed the 200-word limit. These should be cogently written and can be sent by e-mail to: letters@tribuneindia.com


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