As the nation-wide lockdown in India to stem the spread of coronavirus continues, staff from the Sambhavna and Chingari clinics, in conjunction with the five survivor organisations in the city, have implemented fresh measures to monitor and respond to cases of Covid-19 in Bhopal. With the lockdown in place and local government ill-equipped to properly monitor and respond to fresh cases as they occur, the Chingari Trust have written to the governing authorities and been granted permission to deliver food and medicine to the vulnerable in the vans usually used to pickup and dropoff the children receiving regular treatment.
In order to identify those requiring treatment, a WhatsApp group has been setup with the help of the survivor organisations where those displaying symptoms can request support. Sathyu Sarangi, managing director of the Sambhavna Trust, has provided an update:
‘We have in place a community-based, WhatsApp supported surveillance system for close to 50 thousand people. We are distributing medicines for symptomatic treatment of those mildly affected by Covid-19 though community health volunteers. We are working to figure out ways of identifying and isolating those with Covid-19, looking out for empty schools and other buildings, or even tents are being considered.’
While staff from both clinics, as well as a whole network of trained community volunteers, work to identify, treat, and isolate those displaying symptoms, staff from Sambhavna and the now closed Chingari clinic are also providing regular home support to those patients still in need. Those receiving regular visits include 42 children with neurological disorders who require regular medicine to avoid fits and seizures. In addition, they have identified 50 children from impoverished families to whom they are delivering regular meals and other essential supplies. Following the closure of the clinic and to protect both staff and the public, the Chingari staff has been temporarily reduced from 50 to nine, including six drivers, two trustees, and our Communications Officer Tabish.
We wish to thank everyone involved in these efforts for their swift and decisive action to prevent the spread of the virus and safeguard those most vulnerable. The setting up of such a huge network and the provision of regular support in such a short time is really an incredible achievement, and we will continue to support their efforts in any way we can. Thanks also to all of you at home who continue to support this essential work. None of it would be possible without you. As always, stay safe and we will have another update for you soon.