Skip to main content

Need to accelerate health education-related activities amidst COVID-19 in rural areas


Letter to Gujarat chief secretary Anil Mukim and principal secretary, health and family welfare, Jayanti S Ravi on the need to accelerate health education-related activities amidst COVID-19, especially in rural areas:
***
Through this letter we would like to bring to your notice following points based on our constant contact with the poor in rural areas:
1. An atmosphere of fear: There is an unprecedented atmosphere due to the constant news of the ongoing disease in the country. In this situation, what is most needed is to educate people. There is a need to reduce fear among the people and educate them on how to take precautionary measures against the disease.
2. Lack of basic amenities: The biggest fear among the rural areas is failure to get oxygen. In addition to explaining that not every sick person needs oxygen, it is also important to measure the amount of oxygen so that people become less fearful of the disease. It is not possible for us to deliver one pulse-oximeter to each home. But it is possible that we can arrange at least one pulse-oximeter in each village.
3. Fear due to death rate: Even in small villages, there is an atmosphere of extreme fear due to the sudden and unusual rise in deaths. We are aware that fear itself contributes to the spread of the disease. Therefore, it is very important to convey basic information about COVID-19 in simple language to every home. It is not enough to advertise that there is a need to to wear mask, wash hands frequently and maintain social distancing. In fact, such a message becomes meaningless after people see on TV screen how rules related to COVID-19 are openly violated.
4. Fear of death due to vaccination: This fear is one of the reasons for poor vaccination among the rural areas.
What can be done?
Together, we, Janvikas, Navsarjan Trust, Centre for Social Justice and other organizations, have conducted an experiment in 1,000 villages of Gujarat.
We have our own trained social workers in 1,000 villages who have been provided one kit to be handed over to each village. The kit includes the following items:
1. Pulse-oximeter
2. Steamer
3. Digital thermometer
4. A simple explanation of the disease based on the information released by the World Health Organization and the Government of India. The colourful booklet contains facts related with causes of the disease, a guide to prevention and how to help others, basic exercises, food items to be consumed, measures to be taken once you recover)
4. Paracetamol
5. Balloons for breathing exercises
6. For the worker, washable hand gloves
7. Bottle of sanitizer
8. Excess battery cell for pulse-oximeter and digital thermometer
The kit also includes a four minute video demonstrating how to use the tools provided.
The cost of one such kit per village is estimated at Rs 3000. As soon as the kit reaches the village, the demand for the kit is comes from other villages. This work is easy, it can be done, it is an activity in which people willingly contribute, and if we take it up, the work of this vigorous education can reach millions of people. This can help people take care of themselves and remove unreasonable fear in rural Gujarat.
Based on our experience, we feel, there is a need to bring to your notice, and also appeal to you, that we can take this educational activity home to every home of Gujarat very quickly by involving thousands of volunteer workers.
Best wishes, 
Gagan Sethi, Janvikas
Martin Macwan, Navsarjan Trust

Comments

TRENDING

'Modi govt's assault on dissent': Foreign funds of top finance NGO blocked

By Rajiv Shah  In a surprise move, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, has cancelled the foreign funding license of the well-known advocacy group, Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA), known for critically examining India's finance and banking sectors from human rights and environmental angle.

Misleading ads 'manipulate, seduce, lure' to market unhealthy harmful food

By Our Representative  The Nutrition Advocacy in Public Interest (NAPI) in its new report “50 Shades of Food Advertising” has sought to expose how seductive, luring, manipulative or deceptive these advertisements can be. Consequences of such advertising are increased intake of unhealthy food products that is associated with obesity and diabetes, it says. 

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

'Failure of governance': India, China account for 54% pollution-related deaths globally

By Vikas Parsaram Meshram*   A recent report jointly prepared by UNICEF and the independent research organization Health Effects Institute has been released, and the statistics within it are alarming. It states that in 2021, air pollution caused the deaths of 2.1 million Indians, including 169,000 children who hadn't yet fully experienced life. These figures are indeed distressing and raise questions about why there hasn't been more serious effort in this direction, putting policymakers to shame. 

August 9 to be observed as Corporates Quit India day: Top farmers' group

By Our Representative A recent general body meeting of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), the top farmers' organisation, stated hat "there is no need for any illusion of change in the pro-corporate policies of the BJP-NDA government" following the recent elections in which BJP failed to achieve even simple majority. It insisted,  Prime Minister Narendra Modi "is hell bent" to continue 'business as usual' policies.

Over 3.8 billion animals at risk: India on crossroad in animal welfare practices

By Rupali Soni*  In a collaborative effort, the India Animal Fund and Dasra have unveiled their report , "Our Shared Future | Securing Animal Welfare, Human Wellbeing, and Sustainability in India." This landscape report provides a thorough overview of animal welfare and underscores its indispensable role within India's socio-economic and ecological frameworks. It also illustrates how animal welfare is intricately intertwined with public health, labor welfare, and climate resilience.

Belgian report alleges MNC Etex responsible for asbestos pollution in Madhya Pradesh town Kymore: COP's Geneva meet

By Our Representative A comprehensive Belgian report has held MNC Etex , into construction business and one of the richest, responsible for asbestos pollution in Kymore, an industrial town in in Katni district of Madhya Pradesh. The report provides evidence from the ground on how Kymore’s dust even today is “annoying… it creeps into your clothes, you have to cough it”, saying “It can be deadly.”

'Genocidal violence in Bastar': Civil society groups ask UNHRC to intervene

By Our Representative  The civil rights network Forum Against Corporatisation and Militarisation (FACAM), along with the Foundation The London Story, Netherlands, International Solidarity for Academic Freedom in India, India Justice Project, Germany and London Mining Network, UK, in a submission to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has complained of "genocidal violence" allegedly being unleashed on the Adivasi peasants in Bastar. Stating that the violence has intensified in 2024 since the Indian state launched the draconian Surajkund Scheme, the representation said, as of now, close to 200 individuals have been killed in Bastar. Along with this, multiple human rights defenders, ground activists and peasant leaders such as Surju Tekam, and Suneeta Pottem, have been arrested in Chhattisgarh based on falsified charges of being associated with the proscribed Communist Party of India (Maoist) under anti-terror and sedition law, it added. Seeking periodic review of th