This is what healthcare looks like in a time of lockdown and isolation.
A ‘normal’ day at work for health workers like Leena used to include visits to nearby villages to hold clinics. Leena answered questions, assessed injuries and symptoms, and taught essential health & hygiene practices. She would also communicate via text with doctors at our clinics in the city. Together, they would assess, diagnose, and refer critically ill patients to the hospital.
However, the lockdown in India put an end to those village visits.
As Covid-19 has spread across the world, so has a lot of inaccurate information and fear. Vulnerable people and communities with limited access to support and information, are at the highest disadvantage. Rumors spread through villages about what the virus is, where it came from, how it spreads, who is at highest risk, even how to prevent and treat it. Many who have experienced a lifetime of prejudice simply need a trustworthy person to teach and care for them.
Leena and her colleagues worried about the people they serve and the struggles they would face fighting off illness. Many of them were already afraid to ask for help and did not trust government assistance in times of need.
Our teams were quick to respond.
Using video chat, our doctors and community health workers are now practicing telemedicine. This allows them to come face-to-face with patients to support them, even in hard to reach areas. An average call includes listening to the villagers’ thoughts and fears, informing them about the virus and how to prevent it. Perhaps most important, they are a voice of calm reassurance. Over video, our doctors are also able to assess patients who are seriously ill and get them further assistance if needed. Our team always asks how the other families in the neighborhood are doing to see who might need food. Our team ensures every patient feels valued, even across a screen and from a distance.
In a season of anxiety and isolation, our healthcare team of doctors, nurses, and community health workers continue to bring peace, hope, and health into vulnerable communities.
And that’s why they’re our heroes.
You can support health workers like Leena by providing economic relief so they continue to get paid during this pandemic. You can also provide much needed medical supplies.