Staff at our Sambhavna clinic and BMA were interviewed for a newly published report from ALNAP, ‘Responding to Covid-19: Guidance for Humanitarian Agencies’, we are pleased to see the innovative and community health focussed measures being taken to battle coronavirus in Bhopal have been used to help craft this report and will go on to help humanitarian organisations and communities around the world.
ALNAP (Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance) is a sector-wide network in the international humanitarian system made up of key international humanitarian organisations and experts. The report provides advice for humanitarian organisations on tackling Covid-19 around the world, including in refugee camps, slums and other communities that are lacking essential infrastructure or supplies with which to battle the virus. The research for the paper was gathered through interviews with experts from leading global NGO’s, including the World Health Organisation, Oxfam, and the United Nations Commission for Refugees.
Sathyu Sarangi, Trustee of the Bhopal Medical Appeal and Director of the Sambhavna Trust, was interviewed for the report about the measures being taken by clinic staff and community volunteers in Bhopal to safeguard survivors and local communities. These include the building and installation of public hand-washing stations, the creation of home-made personal protective equipment, the setting up of a community volunteer network to raise awareness and diagnose symptoms, the setting up of WhatsApp groups for sharing updates and allowing individuals to report symptoms, and home visits by health experts and trained volunteers to refer cases to local hospitals for treatment.
We are delighted that Sambhavna were able to share these innovative approaches to battling Covid-19 with ALNAP and that through this report they can help other humanitarian organisations around the world respond to Covid-19 in other vulnerable communities. The report includes 7 Operational Principles for Effective Reponses to Covid-19, and the information shared by Sambhavna is most evident in Principle 7: Invest in Operational Leaning, Research and Innovation Efforts. In particular the community in Bhopal has effectively utilised community volunteering, data sharing, surveillance, and use of any and all locally available resources to safeguard the community.
In addition to Sathyu, our Operations Manager Nicky Pyper interviewed for the report and shared details about the Bhopal Medical Appeal and our innovative approaches to community fundraising to fund the Sambhavna and Chingari clinics. The report also features several photographs by Biju Nair from the Sambhavna clinic, including the cover image of a staff member on a home visit in Bhopal. We wish to thank ALNAP for allowing us to contribute to the report and hope that it proves effective in allowing organisations to safeguard vulnerable communities around the world.