BIS #6335 DRISTI Kapadwanj COVID-19 2nd wave outreach

by Father Mayak Parmar for BISMumbai

The state of Gujarat has been severely impacted with the second wave of COVID-19. All focus is on urban areas and consequently COVID-19+ve patients face immense difficulty in accessing timely medical treatment. Kapadvanj Block in Kheda District is currently placed second on the list of COVID-19 +ve cases after the District headquarters Nadiad.

DRISTI Kapadwanj launched its outreach with the belief that nutritious food, fruit and local remedies are as effective as other preventive medicines in the first stage of corona. Awareness among the rural poor is nil and these are unable to procure the required materials. The idea that nutritional food and home remedies for the entire family will help assist in building up of immunity, helped DRISTI to prepare immunity kits on the suggested recommendations by different medical / herbal practitioners. The IEC leaflets, as part of the kit make the family aware about the use and importance of each item in the kit. The data of positive cases was collected from PHC, SHG leaders, volunteers and the kits are distributed daily to these families. Thus far 40 cases are reported and they are provided with the 07days' immunity booster kit. This activity is supported by the Alboan funding agency based in Spain.

Besides the Immunity Booster kit, DRISTI staff has been active in the villages, meeting SHGs women individually for awareness campaign. This campaign is underway in 65 villages of Kapadwanj Block. The rural people are also made aware of the care to be taken during these times through a WhatsApp group created by DRISTI, with variety of information dispatched through it. Those SHG members who do not have smart phones but have simple mobile are kept informed through SMS. DRISTI is also trying to tie up with like-minded people and studying the possibility of assisting Asha workers to care for COVID-19 patients in the villages.