“There is a need for proper planning and strengthening the healthcare system where both the pandemic and these other treatable diseases can be managed simultaneously,” Dr Mikashmi Kohli told me recently. “We now have diagnostic tools which are multi-disease platforms so focusing just on COVID-19 , while forgetting about patients suffering from these manageable diseases, will only lead us in the direction of a failure.”
One of the main consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the neglect of the treatment of other diseases and disruptions to health systems. I spoke with Dr Kohli – a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health at McGill University – on a range of topics. We discuss how COVID has disrupted health systems; how other diseases are being neglected; and the work we need to do to strengthen health systems going forward.
“We can’t just think unilaterally,” Dr Kohli told me earlier this month. The disruption “has been a problem of a broken healthcare system and it is imperative to start fixing that.”
You can watch our interview here.
Dr Mikashmi Kohli is a postdoctoral fellow at McGill University, Canada. She completed her PhD in Molecular Medicine from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. Having worked in India on diagnosis of TB, especially extrapulmonary TB, she developed a strong interest in diagnostics and EPTB research.
Currently, she is working on understanding the availability and access to diagnostics in primary healthcare settings in LMICs and ways to improve the diagnostic landscape in these countries. She has also been working with the Cochrane Systematic Review team on diagnostic accuracy of molecular tests in TB. She is passionate about diagnostics in Global Health and implementation of basic science research in the global health scenario.
You can watch and read Health Issues India’s other interviews with thought leaders in health and development here.
You can read my previous interview with Dr Kohli on diagnostics and UHC here.