By M.C. Linthoingambee
In a densely populated country like India where there are massive crowds made up of people teeming together as seen in its markets and public transport like buses and trains, one shudders at the thought of what can unravel if the Ebola virus reaches here.
The outbreak of Ebola in some of the African countries has already triggered off a health crisis in the countries where it has taken lives but has great risks of fast spreading across the globe given the greater movement of people. The primary importance in the life of a human being health, the façade of its presence is being washed away with each growing day whenever there is a looming health crisis. While our leaders while away their time fighting in the political arena, and others elsewhere continue to concentrate on air-strikes, conflicts, territorial dispute, there are many people in need of medicinal aid. Does the solution of being quarantined serve as a sensible cause for the effect brought on by the Ebola virust? While two American aid workers who were infected with Ebola got cured and made headlines all over the world, why have we failed to take notice of those many who have not been able to get treatment? Keeping all that aside, shouldn’t we be focusing more on producing more of those experimenting drugs that was used for them? While China in the past was able to contain its epidemic of the SARC outbreak, many volunteered and the work factor remained cautious and effective. But the African countries who are suffering a huge setback in their economic deficiency will surely find it difficult to recuperate. In the scenario of a cure or treatment procedure yet to be placed in public domain vis a vis the Ebola outbreak, more and more health volunteers continue to disappear either as a result of contracting the virus themselves, fear and several other reasons. Presently, if we look at a bigger picture we can only leave it in God’s grace.
They say ignorance is bliss but sometimes it is not always the most sensible thing. While India has taken effective measures to isolate and quarantine most of its passengers arriving from the heavily infected countries we are at continuous risks of contracting the virus even if a single person happens to be harboring the Ebola virus. Can India deal with such infections? While the Health Ministry continues to stay lax on the matter, we should be raising more and more awareness through any available medium even to the far off villages that lay cornered with no proper communication supply. We can only go to a doctor when we are in need of a serious medical attention but we have limited power and resources but since Public Health is an area of great concern in the general context, we should be looking at a way of tackling the assurance of safety of health though the medium of law and governance. The essential tool for tackling emerging threats on public health needs to be dealt with effective policies and real counter measures of management through the onward source of law.
The legal framework for health in India draws its powers form the likes of Article 47 contained in the Constitution of India as a Directive Principles of State policy where the duty of the state to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health is recognized among importance safeguards. Public health law focuses on the nexus between law, public health and the legal tools applicable to public health issues. With each growing day, the implementations put forth for ensuring and guaranteeing public health earlier might not work for today since the necessity requires that new medicines be put at place and researchers affirmed in their positions for clinical development of a new vaccine for any new disease that may incur in our country especially to value the goodwill of the people. Though there have been consistent interventions to address public health concerns in the past, there exists a need for a contemporary framework to appropriately use modern legal tools for complex health challenges. But the most critical criterion India continues to tackle today is the reduction of funds allocated to the health sector.
Pharma-corporate giants continues their duty of heavy intervention, the medicines and treatments only become affordable for the rich and while the poor with a low income suffers huge setback. Shouldn’t the job of the governance rely more on equality treatment of patients in spite of their economic backdrop? Can India tackle an effect like the Ebola? Keeping all the complexities aside we can only assume that we wouldn’t know of its effect unless it happens whilst hoping that an emergency to human life does not indeed occur. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as, “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
Several agencies like the Doctors without Borders, World Health Organizations and others continue to work under effective governance of various Human Rights Laws. Today, we are just bystanders in history where the daily usage of body bags seems to be increasing in the measure of containing the death. While current economic challenges continue to remain brazen without any outside help, there are many other countries suffering gravely.