In India, the second wave of COVID-19 hit beginning in February of 2021 (source).
(May 2021) The rise in case numbers has been exponential, with India recording nearly 90,000 new cases everyday at the peak. The number of daily deaths is about 4,000. Rural and semi-urban areas, generally ill-equipped with facilities such as ICUs and supplemental oxygen support, have been reeling with high infection numbers. Oxygen shortages plagued even urban India in April 2021.
Asha for Education projects have stepped up for their communities at this critical time, using the following 6-step plan to provide health and relief support for the 2nd wave:
1. Hygiene and awareness: Distribute masks and sanitisers door-to-door via volunteers, and also raise awareness about renewing social distancing and safe hygiene practices.
2. Vaccination: Encourage and help people register to receive vaccines.
3. Early diagnosis: Volunteers equipped with oximeters and thermometers are going door-to-door to monitor general health conditions.
4. Livelihood support: The first stage of the COVID-19 lockdowns saw heavy losses in families of daily wage earners who were left penniless. Moreover, COVID sufferers are often unable to procure essentials due to taboos. Projects are providing support, from dry rations to cash support to families to cover travel expenses for medical processes.
5. Home remedies: Door-to-door volunteers, under the guidance of local medical professionals, are providing medicines to families.
6. Bridge medical support: Certain projects are setting up care centers equipped with oxygen support for critically ill patients in remote or rural areas where such facilities are not available. These centers provide supplemental care and ensure survival until a hospital bed can be secured and transport arranged for.
Relief efforts from our project partners
Mukti, who work in Sunderbans, have purchased 100 oxygen concentrators, with Asha’s help and others’. They are creating COVID care units in remote areas, each equipped with 2 oxygen concentrators, pulse oximeter, and medical kits for distribution), as well as providing food to Covid-19 infected families while they are restricted at home.
MANASA SCHOOL FOR DISABLED:
Manasa is an Institute of Child Health and Disability Studies in Hyderabad. They have been providing health and rehab services for the needy for over the past 30 years with adequate number of staff and own infrastructure, now contributing its part in the Covid relief operations to the under privileged. Their objective is:
1. Providing dry ration for those whose livelihoods re affected due to Covid 2nd wave for at least two weeks.
2. Distributing protective gear such as facemasks & sanitizers for those it is a challenge to afford them.
3. Spreading awareness on the use of Oxygen concentrators.
4. Providing support of Oxygen concentrators for sufferers with Covid Positive.
Samagra Seva works with the Musahar community in Chandoli in Up/Bihar. The community is seeing high rates of infection (1 in 3 families), and hunger and poverty has left them in a terrible situation.
Samagra Seva intend to undertake welfare measures to address food security along with cleanliness and awareness among the villagers on prevention of COVID-19 and other infections. Therefore, every
family have been provided with one kit with essential food items and another kit with items to
Kalyania work to provide health care to elders who cannot afford it, and are also involved in the upliftment and empowerment of slum and ghetto communities around Kalyani in West Bengal.
They have organized several camps for Covid 19 and distributed masks, sanitizers, face shields and
Kalyania have introduced a community kitchen from where they are distributing 50 packets of
free cooked hygienic food for home isolated covid 19 patients. They plan to run it at least for two
months. They have made a plan to combat oxygen need of their Old Age Home COPD & heart patients through
Oxygen Concentrators. Five oxygen cylinders (2 new
cylinders recently procured and 3 previously procured Oxygen cylinders of Kalyania Old Age Home) will
remain available for Covid 19 patients 24X7.
Asha Rajatalab is planning COVID-19 second wave relief camp, just as they did it last year,
however, adopting some of the important measures that need to be adopted to tackle this
second wave. The team has planned to cover two blocks (Sevapuri and Araji Lines), encompassing
10 districts. The team will be aided by local Sarpanch as well as doctors, both from government
and private hospitals.
Their main objectives are:
1. Mask wearing and social distancing awareness drive
2. Dry ration kit distribution to migrant workers
3. Converting school into quarantine center
4. Preliminary testing using thermal scanners, thermometers, oximeters
5. Raising awareness about vaccination programme
● Medicine Kits – Providing basic Covid 19 medicines to affected individuals – medicines include paracetamol, multivitamins and a thermometer
● Dry Ration Kits – Providing relief kits to Covid affected individuals – Each kit includes dry ration for ready consumption.
● Oxygen Supplies – Sourcing oxygen supplies for affected individuals .
● Hospital Beds – Collaborating with different hospitals to share information about availability of beds and facilitate admission of patients
● Tele-Medicine & Telecounselling – Facilitating delivery of prescription medicines and any other requirements. They have also collaborated with some
doctors who are volunteering with regards to medicinal advise based on callers’ symptoms.
HIJLI INSPIRATION – KAMARHATI CENTERS
Hijli INSPIRATION has focussed on distributing nutrition rich food baskets for children and families of their ‘Bridging the Divide’ Programme run in collaboration with Asha for Education in the Kamarhati and Panihati area of West Bengal. These children come from families who live in deplorable conditions and struggle for two square meals a day. Taking into consideration that malnourished children have been adversely affected by the 2nd wave – Hijli INSPIRATION has taken efforts to ensure that the ‘Bridging the Divide’ students (under 18 yrs) have some support to facilitate immunity building and thereby offer protection against falling prey to the fearful Covid 19.
Each student has been supported with a Nutrition Food Basket comprising
— Horlicks (500 g)
— Sattu (500 g)
— Glucon – D (500 g)
In keeping with the Covid protocol measures, a couple of soap cakes and 30 pieces of surgical masks have been included in the basket. One pack of seven sanitary napkins to all adolescent girls for maintaining hygiene and adopting proper WASH practices have also been distributed.