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Gram Vikas COVID-19 Response May 2021 Progress Update

NEWS

By GV News Desk

21 May 2021

Gram Vikas initiated COVID-19 response activities in the first week of May 2021. Our programme is multi-pronged as marginalised communities struggle with interlinked issues of health, life, livelihoods, food, mental health because of the pandemic.

Incidences of COVID-19 infection among staff had limited our ability to take up full-fledged direct field implementation. Scores of village volunteers and leaders of village development committees have been leading the efforts supported by 77 Gram Vikas staff members.

We have reached out to about 30,000 households in 668 habitations in 88 Gram Panchayats of 22 Blocks of Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada, Kandhamal and Kalahandi districts during this period.

A. SUPPORT AREAS 

1. COVID-19 CARE IN REMOTE VILLAGES

 We have partnered with the Block administrations in three districts to set up temporary medical centres, supply hygiene materials for government run care centres, facilitate COVID-19 screenings and support vaccinations.

  •  Set up a 50-bed Cluster level Temporary Medical Centre (C-TMC) currently housing 32 migrant workers including 8 women 2 children in Thuamul Rampur block of Kalahandi district
  • Supplied hygiene materials for the Covid Care Centre (CCC) in Baliguda block of Kandhamal district
  • Facilitated screening for Covid and provided hygiene kits to 850 households in 14 villages in K. Nuagaon Block, Kandhamal district.
  • Supporting 2 Community Health Centres in vaccination and door-to-door screening in 7 Gram Panchayats in Jagannath Prasad Block in Ganjam district.

We have mobilised resources for treatment of COVID affected patients, identified a cadre of community volunteers for COVID-19 surveillance and care support, facilitated registrations on CoWIN, and rolled out COVID-prevention awareness drives.

  • Mobilised 2480 Pulse Oximeters from Swasth and distributed 1482 to village volunteers and 738 to health workers. We also expect to receive other early detection tools like IR Thermometers, and protective gears including PPE Kits and Face Shields from Swasth.
  • Identified 1397 village health volunteers to support COVID-19 prevention, surveillance and care. Out of these, 741 volunteers will be trained on use of early detection tools, monitoring COVID-19 positive people in home isolation and supporting the health workers in COVID-19 screening. Others will be involved in awareness generation on protective measures against COVID-19.
  • Facilitating deployment of Oxygen Concentrators and BiPaP Ventilators sourced from Medical Oxygen for All (MOfA), an international volunteer group for Gajapati, Rayagada and Kalahandi districts.
  • Registered 2310 persons between 18 to 44 years from 88 habitations in 58 Gram Panchayats on CoWIN portal for vaccination. We recruited individuals who own a smartphone and know how to use it as community volunteers and trained them on using the CoWIN website. The training done over a phone explains in detail the steps involved and the volunteers learn through practice by registering themselves. Read detailed reports from Gajapati and Kalahandi.
  • Spread awareness on COVID-19 preventive measures. Mobile vans with mounted speakers travel through 628 rural and tribal habitations in 9 districts playing pre-recorded audio messages on measures to prevent COVID-19. The messages inform and reinforce the importance of wearing masks, maintaining physical distance and following proper hand washing practices.

2. NEED SPECIFIC SUPPORT TO VULNERABLE HOUSEHOLDS 

Ongoing assessments will help identify vulnerable households in our partner villages in need of support including farm households for kharif cropping.

On 17 May, we started the second round of field assessments to identify the total number of vulnerable households based on a defined set of criteria. The Village Development Committees and Gram Vikas field teams will then together identify the specific households that are most vulnerable. The type and nature of support to be provided will be based on the individual household needs.

The assessment also includes farm households and their needs for kharif cropping specifically around land development (ploughing), seed availability, buying fertiliser and pesticide, and irrigation.

3. SUPPORT TO MIGRANT WORKERS

We are coordinating with CMID and ESAF Small Finance Bank in Kerala, to support migrant workers and their families to get food, healthcare, accommodation at destination State, and safe travel back to Odisha.

The collaborations ensure the wellbeing of migrant workers and their families from Odisha. Till now, 855 migrant workers and their families received food and essential materials kits with a dry food ration of rice, flour, pulses, potato, spices, tea, soap mask, and sanitizer from the Labour Department. CMID facilitated the distribution camp.

In March this year, in anticipation of a second wave of the pandemic, Gram Vikas along with CMID, ESAF Small Finance Bank mapped nearly 5495 migrant workers and families across 23 locations in Ernakulam. The mapping helped the Labour Department to identify the workers for support.

Our 24×7 Bandhu Helpline has so far responded to 848 calls from its four nodes – two in Kerala and two in Odisha. A unified helpline service with a common number is being set up.

4. PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT TO CHILDREN

We are collaborating with different organisations to develop response plans and guidelines to extend psychosocial support to children in our partner villages.

We are using resources from UNICEF, ChildLine, ChildFund, Department of Women and Children to develop response plans. Resources include manuals on COVID-19 response for children and caregivers, comics and story books related to COVID, guides on maintaining psychological well being for adolescents, educational activities that can be carried out at home, etc. We are translating selected resources into Odia and will translate them into tribal dialects, if need be. We are in the process of collaborating with CYSD Odisha for an overall response strategy for children and TISS and NIMHANS especially for extending psychological support.

B. PARTNER SUPPORT

Our COVID-19 response work has received support from Arghyam, Center for Migration and Inclusive Development, ESAF Small Finance Bank, Gram Vikas USA, Medical Oxygen for All, Skoll Foundation, and Swasth.

C. CONTACTS

The senior management team members responsible for the different activity areas are listed below.

Work Area Responsible Person
COVID-19 care in remote villages Pratap Chandra Panda

pratap@gramvikas.org

Need specific support to vulnerable households Nirmal C Mohanty

ncmohanty@gramvikas.org

Support to migrant workers Joseph Kalassery

joseph@gramvikas.org

Support to children Jyotsna Tirkey

jyotsna@gramvikas.org

Mobile vans with mounted speakers spread awareness on COVID-19 preventive measures.

Photograph by Rufus Sunny

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