The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is the defining global health crisis of our time and the greatest challenge we have faced since World War Two. Cases are rising daily in Africa the Americas, and Europe. In India, the total number of positive Covid-19 cases escalated to reach an alarming figure of 11000+ on April 15, 2020 while the number deaths reached 350+. Fifteen Indian states and Union Territories account for more than 95% of total cases in the country, including Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Rajasthan. Government of India is taking all necessary steps (e.g. nationwide lockdown, enforce social distancing) to address challenges and threats posed by the growing pandemic of COVID19. Also, private sector who have developed technologies and innovative solutions for diagnosis etc has been leveraged to flatten the curve of contagion.
In the last couple of weeks, a number of states have identified Covid-19 hotspots (specific areas that have reported cases) and have started sealing them (no entry or exit for any resident except those in essential services). Authorities have been sanitising every house, checking symptoms of each resident, testing symptomatic people for Covid-19 and ensuring doorstep delivery of essential goods like groceries and dairy products. To make it successful, empowerment of the citizens with the right information and taking precautions as per the advisories being issued by Government of India is one of the most essential interventions.
The IIHD has launched #JeetJayengeHum campaign to support India fight against COVID19. Following interventions are being conducted at community and health system levels:
A. Community interventions
(1) Creating awareness about prevention measures (e.g. hygiene, social distancing) and counselling support in combating stigma amongst elderly population and patients living with comorbidities (e.g. Hypertension, HIV, TB, cancer, etc.) in the identified COVID19 hotspots.
(2) Providing essential childcare kits (health, social and psychological) for fulfilling development needs of 0-6 years age young child.
B. Health system interventions
(1) Support in conceptualisation, establishment and effective delivery of “WAR Room” to expedite decision-making by authorities to manage, control and reverse COVID-19 pandemic using existing IT infrastructure as well as modified existing IT applications. The WAR Room strategic focus is on effective communication based on the real-time data coming from various sources, i.e. health facilities as well as community. Two way communication mechanism with the use of analytical dashboard will help decision makers to decide the strategies and plans at each level of governance.
(2) Capacity building of frontline workers though digital platforms and technology tools, as per measures prescribed by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (Government of India) to strengthen the delivery of healthcare services.