27 July, 2021

Can’t Smoke Out Scary Strains

The rains again expose factors plaguing India’s healthcare in rural and urban spaces

Civic workers spray chemicals along a canal in a Calcutta slum
Photograph by Getty Images
Can’t Smoke Out Scary Strains

How 3 Diseases Are A Major Annual Danger

  • Monsoon typically leads to water-­logging, which is the villain behind the spread of major vector-borne diseases like malaria, dengue and chikungunya
  • The diseases are rampant in Delhi, which has reported 50% new instances of malaria and 400% rise in cases of chikungunya between 2014 and ’16
  • The need of the hour, experts say, is a new system that can counter pathogens from becoming stronger
  • India does chart out ways to resolve the issue, but their implementation mostly fall short of the requirements
  • Rural India has below-par PHCs and CHCs, where accurate and prompt diagnosis seldom happens
  • There have been some progress in vaccines for dengue and chikungunya, but they are mostly at the test stage. Malaria already has a vaccine.


As monsoons enter upcountry, Dr Rajesh Kumar’s day in the hospital begins much earlier than usual. At 8 in the morning,...

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