“We are now busy preparing a list of our frontline Covid warriors who will be included in the priority list for the vaccine. Next in the queue could be a sizable population of Kolkata which has been suffering from co-morbidity factors. The survey results will help us locate them and include in the list of Covid vaccines,” said Subrata Raychowdhury, KMC deputy chief health officer, who played a crucial role in the survey.
However, Raychowdhury pointed out unless the digitized data were analyzed, the public health experts or health planners would not be able to get the desired result of the survey. “Our next job is to analyze data which have emerged from 7.5 lakh city households. If this job is properly done, the survey will go a long way in ensuring a systematic war against outbreak of any pandemic in future,” he said.
TOI had already reported that a preliminary analysis of around 80,000-85,000 Kolkata households surveyed for co-morbid conditions has indicated that roughly one person in every four households suffer from hypertension, blood sugar, kidney or cardiac ailments, few even from cancer, and they may need medical intervention. Around 60% of these people, who have reported such medical conditions, are senior citizens.
However, for the time being, based on the survey results, the KMC Covid task force will reach out to city’s Covid-positive patients who are also suffering from co-morbidity factors.
In fact, the KMC’s borough executive health officials had intervened in the treatment of several patients in late September based on the preliminary findings of the co-morbidity survey. “Based on whatever information was being collected by our voluntary health workers from their door-to-door survey, we could take prompt decisions on hospitalization of several serious Covid patients who were also suffering from co-morbidity factors like diabetes or hypertension,” said a member of the KMC covid task force.
But, the survey was not complete without hiccups, said KMC health officials. “Though collection of data was done on war footing, compilation and digitization of data suffered due to lack of trained manpower required for the job and snags occurred from time to time in the KMC IT system,” said a civic official.