Mmhonlumo Kikon, Spokesperson of the High Powered Committee for COVID-19 Credit: Facebook

Kohima: The global COVID-19 pandemic has posed as a huge challenge for governments and policymakers across the world. As the state of Nagaland continues to battle the virus, spokesperson of the High Powered Committee for COVID-19 Mmhonlumo Kikon called for a need to review the existing healthcare system in the state critically.

“We have inherited a system which we need to critically review,” said Kikon during a webinar organised by the Kohima Press Club and SLCA-Kripa foundation on Friday. Although “not blaming anyone in the past”, Kikon noted that there is need to take the state and nation forward, considering the seriousness and the amount of data that is available in the present times, unlike the old times.

According to Kikon, tackling COVID-19 in the state has, in a way been a “bitter” experience. “The Pandemic has enabled us to review the health care system that we have inherited to address the need of the people at all levels from the primary health care to the District,” he said.

He emphasised on the bottom-up approach urging the need to “rethink” from the community (grassroots) level to the top on how to build a healthcare system which will work.

Addressing the session as the guest speaker, Kikon also said that there is need to re-imagine a state where policies will address the need of the people, which should be sensitive and responsive to the everyday challenges faced by the people.

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While the government and its representatives should engage and listen to the people, he said that the community must also extend active support and do away with issues and problems. During the session, the panel discussed on the theme—COVID-19 vaccine, treatment, HIV and human rights.

Dr Bilali Camara, medical epidemiologist, UNAIDS Country director for India, stressed on the importance of inclusiveness. Highlighting it as a critical element, Camara emphasized on the need to connect with the key population by adopting a people-centric approach.

Giten Khwairakpan, Program manager, community and policy TREAT Asia/amfAR, a panellist also explained in detail about the developments of the COVID-19 vaccine across the globe and the effectiveness of its treatments. The session was moderated by Vishü Rita Krocha, senior journalist and founder of Penthrill Publication House.

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