WHY PRIMARY HEALTHCARE REMAINS INDIA’S BLIND SPOT - The Daily Guardian
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WHY PRIMARY HEALTHCARE REMAINS INDIA’S BLIND SPOT

A robust primary healthcare system can improve patient outcomes and reduce financial burden due to the high costs of emergency and tertiary/quaternary care. India seems to be ignoring this fundamental aspect of healthcare for decades to the detriment of the well-being of a billion citizens.

Suravi Sharma Kumar

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In spite of the need for healthcare services for a population of over a billion people, healthcare has never been a mobilising force during elections in India. Only three National Health Policies (1983, 2002 and 2017) have been promulgated over the last 70 years in India. National policies are often preceded by the commitment of political parties in their election manifestos. And now, with the Covid-19 crisis, for the first time in the history of independent India, healthcare infrastructure (alongside the Covid vaccine) has become a top issue in electoral agendas.

The National Health Policy (NHP) 2017 had proposed to strengthen Primary Health Centres (PHC) by investing two-thirds or more of government health spending on the PHC system, with an increase in overall government funding for health to 2.5% of the Gross Domestic Product by 2025, as against 1.18% in 2015-16. This was followed by the Ayushman Bharat Program (ABP) being announced in February 2018, which had two components from the outset—Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) and the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) which focused on secondary, tertiary and quaternary hospital-based care.

The wellness centres can be banked upon to strengthen the PHC system which, in the truest sense, has the capability to take care of 80% of health issues of the masses, upgrading the 150,000 PHCs in the current government health system. AB-HWCs appear more promising than all earlier initiatives (like the National Health Mission launched in 2005) to strengthen and deliver comprehensive PHC services because it has a stronger focus on service delivery (with 12 services) and pays enough attention to preventive and ‘promotive’ health services.

The effectiveness and success of HWCs will depend upon a rapid transition from the policy stage to an accelerated implementation stage, with due focus on both supply and demand side interventions, dedicated and increased funding by the union and state governments, appropriate use of information and communication technology, and the right engagement of the community and civil society. Sustained political interest and monitoring is vital for the overall implementation to scale up the system.

Due visibility and priority must be given to AB-HWCs as a vehicle to strengthen primary health care services. Of the two components in ABP, HWCs seem to be getting comparatively less attention, in spite of the recognized fact that a well-functioning primary care centre can manage most health issues. However, the component of AB-HWCs is a more difficult one to implement than the insurance-based AB-PMJAY. Thus, there is a need to bring attention back to AB-HWCs and make them politically visible through advocacy and evidence.

The first primary health centre was established in 1952. The system has evolved since then and there is a vast network of nearly 200,000 Government Primary Health Care Facilities (GPHCFs) now, both in rural and urban areas. However, the existing GPHCFs deliver a narrow range of services, due to a variety of reasons, including under-equipped infrastructure and non-availability of providers. Excluding health services for mothers and children, only 11.5% of rural people and 3.9% of urban people in need of health services use this vast network. People in India either choose higher level government facilities for primary healthcare or attend a private provider (with out of pocket expenditure). Both of these situations reflect an unhealthy healthcare system, with wastage and misuse of services.

Educated India knows that our country figures at the very bottom of the index of global health systems. We have the unenviable status of having the highest number of tuberculosis and leprosy patients as well as the highest maternal mortality and infant mortality rates.

The focus should shift from the Bhore Committee report of 1946, which highlighted the need for a ‘social physician’ who is a key player in India’s health system. The report emphasised the need to recognise the field of family medicine as a separate specialty with a postgraduate residency programme in PG medical institutes. But none of these have seen the light of implementation yet. In higher-level hospital-based service, primary care physicians (PCPs) have been underutilized, devalued and depicted as paper-pushers in the world of specialists.

Our medical education system also needs to encourage its students to view primary care as a route to creating a more effective health system. The Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, which is working to improve healthcare in the US, says that, in order to produce more primary care doctors who are willing to practice in disadvantaged and underserved areas, besides providing financial incentives, medical schools need to change the way they select students. It is seen that students who have strong ties with their community want to form a long-term relationship and commitment to public service, and thus are more likely to choose primary care (if such training is made available) as a profession than other students. Another reason why our country (or even the US) is facing a shortage of PCPs is because the brightest medical students are often made to believe that they’re too smart not to specialize, and that attitude is reinforced throughout their medical training.

What is special about Japan in this context is that it has managed to contain the clout of specialists in its healthcare system and accorded a prominent voice to its primary care practitioners (PCPs) in its decision making process. In the early days of Japan’s history with modern medicine, hospitals catered to only an affluent few, but soon the government limited the funding of hospitals, restricting them to functions like the training of medical students and isolation of infectious cases. Reciprocal connections between doctors in private clinics and hospitals were forbidden, thwarting possibilities of a nexus between the two groups. A sturdy lobby of clinic-based PCPs also evolved, who tipped the balance in favour of primary healthcare.

Healthcare expenditure by the government is low by all standards—much lower than many non-democratic and poorer countries, and ahead of only five countries, namely, Burundi, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sudan, and Cambodia. Such low spending, as we know, leads to a perverted pattern of healthcare, especially when the system needs to cater to a population of over a billion.

There is empirical evidence that public spending for primary healthcare is the most effective, efficient and equitable approach to improve the health of populations. The Centre for Economic and International Studies, in an analysis of 163 countries, reported that public spending consistently leads to lower infant mortality rates. A few countries in South America have also, with limited resources, managed to design and scale up people-friendly health systems to cover large populations. Family clinics in Brazil and polyclinics in Cuba are examples of such systems with nationwide coverage.

An important requirement of primary healthcare is the active participation of the masses—akin to citizen participation in democracy. Such systems are likely to be more responsive to the needs of the public. In the states of West Bengal and Kerala, where primary healthcare is co-managed by panchayats, health outcomes are better than in most other states at similar levels of economic development. There are roles for technical experts, professional associations and civil society representatives in ensuring that the PHCs are not lost in the noise for more secondary and tertiary care services. Thus, people in this country need to step up and demand for better primary healthcare services from their elected representatives.

The writer is a medical doctor (pathologist) and holds an MA in creative writing from the University of London.

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5 MUST-HAVE JEWELLERY PIECES FOR KARVA CHAUTH

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As we spent yet another year at home in our pyjamas, the ongoing festive season has given us the perfect excuse to dress up! It is that time of the year when festivity in India is in its full swing. India boasts of an array of significant festivals, of which Karva Chauth, marks one important celebration for married couples.

Karva Chauth is a celebration of the pious bond between a husband and a wife. Ladies dress up to the nines and observe fast from sunrise to moonrise for a day for the safety and long lives of their husbands.

Undoubtedly, like every year, ladies would be stressed about choosing the perfect outfit for the special day. But do you think your search will be limited to finding a good dress? Of course not!

With your sartorial choices taking the front seat, do not forget to have your hands on the must-have jewellery pieces that not only compliment your clothes but also your personality.

Bhavesh Navlakha, founder of online fashion jewellery brand Sukkhi helped ANI list the trending jewellery pieces that would be a one-time investment for you to perfectly style your outfit not only for Karva Chauth but also for the entire festive season:

1. Pearl choker: Chokers are never out of style and are a beautiful addition to accentuate Indian outfits. The choker lends an edginess to your chosen ethnic outfit. An elegant pearl choker can elevate any outfit and give a rather classy look without being too heavy.

2. Long-chain jhumkis: Long-chain jhumkis, also referred to as Bahubali-inspired earrings, is a style statement that acts as the perfect addition to any ethnic outfit. It is a contemporary take on traditional earrings which adds a touch of glamour to your outfit without the need for any more jewellery.

3. Pearl bangles: Bangles are one of the most traditional accessories used in India. Bangles are a versatile jewellery piece that compliments our ethnic outfits. Adding jewellery pieces to your wrist acts as the perfect accessory to just about every Indian outfit.

4. Jhumkis: Jhumkis are immensely popular as one of the most worn jewellery pieces and is loved by everyone for their intricate design. Jhumkis can be paired with Indian ethnic outfits and also western outfits to create an eye-pleasing ensemble.

5. Kundan neckpiece: Kundan neckpieces look elegant and sophisticated and can glam up your outfit in no time. Not just for Karva Chauth, but Kundan sets can be worn by pairing them with your favourite outfit and layering the necklaces.

With jewellery trends constantly evolving and changing every year, we find it hard to keep ourselves updated on them. So, now that we have got you all covered, style your outfit with the above-mentioned jewellery pieces, making your ensemble not only look great but also speaking volumes for you!

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Needledust launches its first-ever store in Mumbai

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India’s first-ever designer jutti label, Needledust is thrilled to announce the launch of their first-ever store in Mumbai at Reliance’s first premium mall in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex, Jio World Drive.

Housing more than 90+ premium and luxury brands, JIO World Driver is an exciting hub for luxury, fashion, shopping and entertainment. Located in Bandra Kurla Complex, and spanning across an area of 17.5 acres at Maker Maxity, Jio World Drive is Mumbai’s newest, vibrant urban hangout. The precinct is home to 72 prominent International and Indian brands, 27 culinary outlets with cuisines from across the globe, Mumbai’s first rooftop Jio Drive-In Theatre, an open-air weekend community market, pet-friendly services, a dedicated pop-up experience and other bespoke services. With an international consumer base, Needledust launched in 2014 with an original first of its kind product in the designer jutti space.

Following the immense success of their existing stores in Delhi & Chandigarh and a spectacular online presence on Needledust.com, this is a significant milestone for the brand as they open their doors to the tinsel town. 

Needledust brings to you a line of bespoke fine leather juttis that speak the charm of a true old school artisan with a desire to recreate this age-old craft for those who wear, admire, preserve its elegance and culture.

The celebrated label is all about unbridled passion for the revival of the jutti and unmatched craftsmanship, amalgamating the finesse of old royal moulds with innovative design and embroidery patterns that impeccably reflect 21st-century aesthetics.

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MANUBHAI JEWELLERS LAUNCHES AN EXCLUSIVE BRIDAL JEWELLERY COLLECTION FOR NEW BRIDES-TO-BE

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This wedding season, Manubhai Jewellers, a leading jewellery brand for over 30 years has made the process of finding the perfect jewellery for all the brides-to-be more special and remarkable. The brand has launched a new campaign called “Wedding by Manubhai” that features jewellery for every function – Sangeet, Mehendi and Wedding -along with a special traditional experience for all the new brides-to-be to wish them good luck and prosperity.

Speaking about the new campaign, Samir Sagar, Director, Manubhai Jewellers, said, “We at Manubhai Jewellers have been creating intricate and beautiful pieces of jewellery that balance between tradition and contemporary design to suit every occasion. For the wedding season, we want to take the opportunity to highlight the traditional values associated with our brand and offer a new bridal experience.” Manubhai Jewellers are popularly known for their specially crafted and curated collections in Mumbai. With a retail presence in Borivali, they cater to every customer’s needs ranging from beautiful modern diamond pieces to fanciful and chic gold wear, to traditional Kundan and Jadau jewellery. The brand is one of the few jewellers in Mumbai creating bespoke designs in Polki, Temple and Antique.

Additionally, Manubhai Jewellers are also committed to specialising in bridal jewellery called Madhuban. The Madhuban collection features beautifully handcrafted inspirational jewellery displayed in the store with a royal theme. Manubhai’s traditional concepts stand are brilliantly reflected through the indigenous craftsmanship of the Madhuban collection and has made the brand popular among the best jewellery shops in Mumbai. Further, all jewellers at Manubhai are hallmarked and certified.

Further, to make the moment special for new brides, Manubhai Jewellers have also introduced “Madhuban Delight” wherein the bride is first welcomed in a traditional way with the ‘Aarti thali’ and then gifted with a ‘Potli’ – a traditional drawstring bag that contains silver coins, vermilion, rice and Swastik that symbolise good luck, prosperity and imply the underlying cultural significance of ceremonial rituals.

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Karva Chauth 2021: Stand out with these easy makeup looks

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Karva Chauth, an important festival for married couples has always been about dressing up to the nines and sporting elaborate makeup looks for women. Karva Chauth is a celebration of the pious bond between a husband and a wife. Ladies dress up to the nines and observe fast from sunrise to moonrise for a day for the safety and long lives of their husbands. This year Karva Chauth will be celebrated on 24 October, that is, Sunday.

Ladies, you may even have spent days planning out your Karva Chauth outfit and makeup look. However, with the Covid-19 pandemic easing down, there is much of a point in getting decked up like earlier.

So, it is time to come up with a makeup look that is not only appropriate for your special day but also worthy of posting on Instagram!

Check out the simple tips listed below by Professional MUA Sahibjeet Kaur shared with ANI to create a makeup look that is unapologetically you:

1. Basic red, with popping eyeliner or kajal: Women love to wear traditional red shades for their Karwa Chauth, but another trend that has really taken up and we cannot get enough of is the coloured eyeliner or kajal look. Gone are the days when your eyes could carry only basic black or simple brown colours. Now, you can use coloured eyeliner or kajal to add a unique point to your Karva Chauth look. Add trendy colours like lime green, electric blue, and bubblegum pink to your eyeliner or Kajal. You can play around with a sleek cat-eye look or experiment with a graphic liner look by doing a cut-crease with a coloured liner. Apply bold blood-red lipstick with small size red bindi. To compliment your look, style your dress with gajra, mang tikka, and a choker neckpiece.

2. Have fun with the eyeshadow palette: Bid adieu to your basic pink and red eyeshadow look. Explore the peppy colours in the palette and blend the shades that go with your outfit. To add more glam to your eye makeup, apply artificial lashes on your eyes and coat them with intense mascara. Go light with your lip-shade to let your eyes do the talking!

3. Smokey eyes with a glitter twist: A trend that can never become stale is the basic smokey eye makeup look. But, why should you settle for basic? Pick up your makeup brush tool and add some glittery twist to the whole look. Choose a colour matching to your outfit for the smokey eyeshadow. Blend it until you achieve the perfect smoke. Apply artificial lashes to your eyes and coat them with intense mascara. Ditching the basic black, add a glittery twist to the whole look by applying a silver shiny eyeliner. Apply nude or glossy lipstick and a stroke of highlighter on your cheekbones. If you can wear big jhumkis, it can enhance your look like anything.

4. Add some glow to your look: Steer clear of your ultra-bright golden highlighter and go for a subtler look instead. Opt for a subtle highlighter in the shade of rose gold, champagne, or dull gold. Apply it at the high points of your cheekbones, on your brow bones, and down your nose to give yourself that lit-from-within look. This will make your makeup look understated while still making you look effervescent.

5. Get peachy with blush: Red, pink or green- choose any colour for your outfit and peachy makeup will add volumes to your look! Go for a peachy blush with a slight shimmer to add warmth to your face and elevate that dewy look. You can apply the blush straight across your cheekbones and nose to create a pretty fresh look and to your nose to give yourself that lit-from-within look.

Pro-tip: Do not neglect your eyebrows. You can use an eyebrow pencil to shape up your eyebrows or can use eyeshadow to give a natural uplift to your brows.

Now that we have got you all covered, try out these makeup tips to glam up this Karva Chauth!

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DIAL M FOR MINIMALISM

With the adage ‘Less is more’, allow your furnishings and accessories to come through placing them judiciously, giving your home an effective yet understated appeal that is easy on the eyes.

NAMRATA KUMAR

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Clamping down on consumption for some has indirectly affected their aesthetic (most for the better). It has initiated a shift in consumer choices. The year 2020 and a majority of 2021 have seen a shift in design trends. Instagram accounts with zen influencers have made impressions in the aesthetic inclinations of many. Enter Marie Kondo, the purveyor of minimalism with tidying up as her motto. Known to preach cleanliness, she believes ’Tidying up’ fosters joy and serenity. Indulgence and maximal living is a personal choice and we are not arguing about it. Respect, Kardashians and Jenners.

However, understated interiors are an aesthetically pleasing choice of decor. This style that is #trending can be incorporated into homes of all shapes and sizes. Whether it’s Japanese, modern or Scandinavian, there are many ways to achieve this coveted look. An added advantage is it is not labour intensive to execute so you can save energy for your upcoming HIIT session. Most of these sleek looks can be achieved by incorporating simple streamlined furniture with chalky hues for upholstery.

Clean modern lines, a pastel palette of colours and simple silhouettes. With the adage ‘Less is more’, allow your furnishings and accessories to come through placing them judiciously, giving your home an effective yet understated appeal that is easy on the eyes. Colours are imperative.

A decluttered coffee table with a statement pot planter can do the trick. Facets that add to the zen features range from contemporary ceramic bowls to a some-free soy wax candle. These contemporary bowls can be procured from Ellementry, a home accessory studio from Jaipur. Nestasia (an online Indian home store) boasts of geometric ceramic pots that are unique and trendy. They are available in chalky hues in harmony with a minimalist’s handbook. For everything else there is Ikea.

Rattan mirrors are topping the charts for sprucing up your blank spaces. Choose from a range of hand made rattan numbers to bevelled circular pieces. One mirror on a single wall should do the trick. A multitude of small rattan mirrors can add that subtle adornment. These handmade rattan numbers could be found at gingercrush.com. You could also explore www.pepperfry.in for some sleek round mirrors by the brand Flairglass.

Tables with sharp lines or curves comply with the minimalist’s montage. Sofas and couches with forms conforming to the Marie Kondo design sensibility.

If you’re looking to fix the mess, commit to tidying up. Investing in simple yet effective pieces with minimum maintenance. Airy spaces with sunlight pouring in are therapeutic. Choose earthy and pastel colours in tandem with the zen philosophy. To destress, declutter.

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ICDMA FOUNDER TO INTRODUCE AI PLATFORM FOR IDENTIFYING AND MITIGATING DIGITAL RISKS

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ICDMA is a provider of IT services such as Cyber Forensics, IT Audit, IT Risk Evaluation, and Digital Security. In recent years, it has become a tried-and-true standard for businesses looking to defend their brands, enterprises, and reputations from crippling cyber attacks. They develop and deploy information security platforms and services, both standard and personalised, to protect, evaluate, and respond to cyber threats such as security breaches that occur in your systems and networks. The services they provide include Application and Web Development, Graphic Design, Security Audits, Cyber Security Services, Vulnerability Assessments, Fraud Risk Management, and IT Consultancy.

In addition, the firm achieved awards for being the best Cyber Forensics firm preventing businesses from external threats. A cybersecurity analyst is responsible for the security of an organisation, business, or government agency from cyber threats. Their primary role is to analyse any possible threat that might occur through or to your system and come up with plausible and practical solutions to protect you.

Being a cyber security expert and analyst, Dheeraj Kumar has years of experience and stays up-to-date with the current crimes and security trends. He believes that like many other professions, this is a never-ending learning field. They monitor your networks and then analyse them to find common threat patterns or trends. Further, they design software that suits the needs of the problem at hand and ensures that these measures are maintained properly. If, in any case, they encounter a new problem, they utilise their years of experience and knowledge to produce a unique solution.

Witnessing the increased cyber threats, Cybersecurity analyst Dheeraj advises people to use the Internet wisely and productively. Dheeraj is currently working on an Al-driven platform for identifying and mitigating digital risks and counteracting brand impersonation attacks with the company’s patented technologies at its core. Dheeraj’s experience in threat hunting and cyber intelligence has been fused into an ecosystem of highly sophisticated software and hardware solutions designed to monitor, identify, and prevent cyberattacks.

A cybersecurity analyst is responsible for the security of an organisation, business or government agency from cyber threats. Their primary role is to analyse any possible threat that might occur through or to your system and come up with plausible solutions.

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