Our Covid-19 Response
Due to COVID-19, the divide between the provider and the seeker of healthcare has worsened. The ensuing frenzy due to misinformation has instilled a fear of virus contraction among people. Vaccination seems to be the only viable solution against this deadly virus, but huge awareness gaps as well as information asymmetry exists regarding the COVID vaccination drive especially amongst the rural parts of the country.
Access to quality primary health care is scarce in rural India. According to a report by IMS – “Understanding Healthcare Access in India”– about 45% of the population travels more than 100 kms to access a higher level of care. The situation has worsened given the Covid-19 situation and the resultant lockdown or social distancing measures. This coupled with the fact that the existing healthcare facilities are focusing to manage the Covid-19 crisis.
Thus, the rural communities are also deferring to visit the PHCs or CHCs in the fear of potential exposure to the virus. This is likely to severely impact the health of the rural communities suffering from other health conditions, and could result in higher mortality.
History provides that during the previous epidemics such as Ebola, people with other critical health conditions suffered severely due to reduced access to care, medicines and diagnostics.
In these circumstances, vaccination seems to be our only viable solution and chance to beat the deadly virus. However, huge awareness gaps as well as information asymmetry exists regarding the COVID vaccination drive as well especially amongst the rural parts of the country. People are failing to see how important it is to get vaccinated and it has become highly important to educate/counsel them about it.
We are undertaking the following interventions in response to the COVID 19 pandemic:
Providing necessary equipments to patients
We are providing our patients with necessary medical equipments like thermometers and oximeters at subsidised rates which might not be available to them otherwise.
Vaccination awareness material
We are design and prepare printed as well as digital material such as pamphlets and videos to create awareness about the COVID vaccination. The same will be distributed to not only our patients but also in the communities we serve.
In order to ensure that the communities we serve in have access to primary healthcare from the confines of their homes, our outreach workers will go from door to door screening patients. Patients found with abnormal vitals or the ones who need to see a doctor but are unable to step out of their place, will be able to avail specialist doctor consultations with the help of our outreach workers at no cost. They will be carrying tablets through which they will be able to access our software platform and help connect the patients to the doctors over an audio video consultation. Post consultations, the staff will also deliver the required medicines to people at their doorsteps at affordable prices.
Vaccination awareness calls and Tracking
Huge awareness gaps, as well as information asymmetry, exist regarding the COVID vaccination drive. One-on-one audio calls our being made to our existing patients by our outreach workers to counsel them and encourage them to get their vaccinations done. Information regarding the importance of vaccination and where they can avail the same will also be provided. The staff is also making follow-up calls to these patients to track if they’ve got their vaccination done.
We are fighting vaccine hesitancy and promoting COVID vaccine literacy and awareness by building partnerships to scale the initiative Immunise (https://www.immunise.in), a one-stop information platform for scientific and verified information on vaccines.