AWARE'S Covid-19 Relief & Rehabilitation in India
Detailed statement and plan
COVID-19 ROADMAP TO RECOVERY: HOPE & ASPIRATION
“we will directly support the children most in need, provide a small glimmer of hope – a small light at the end of a very dark tunnel, in the short term we will provide shelter, food, and awareness of how to keep safe and well (emergency medical aid); and then we will provide the long-term infrastructure ensuring we meet their future education, social and economic needs.”
JAYESH R PATEL – Managing Trustee AWARE Foundation
We have all watched with horror and anguish the unfolding of a terrible human tragedy in India – the Covid-19 pandemic has ravaged through the towns, cities, villages and has brought India’s healthcare system to its knees.
People have lost and are losing their loved ones on a daily basis – brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, grandparents, aunts and uncles – even children, no one has escaped this terrible virus.
The need for urgent medical aid is fundamental – oxygen, ventilators and medicines are needed at scale to provide some relief and hope, and many organisations across the UK including the government are responding with the utmost urgency.
The AWARE foundation recognises the urgent first aid response that is needed, but it also recognises the devasting toll that this situation is having on some of the most vulnerable children in India – many without any emotional or physical support, and now many without their care takers. Therefore, we are taking a twin track approach, focusing our efforts on the immediate need of the hour followed by what we know we can do, and have done well for many years, to directly support the most vulnerable children in need.
To assess the situation and to find a common way forward, Swapath Trust and Vishwagram, two of AWARE’s partners convened a state-level meeting on Friday 30 April. Together with a dozen doctors, public health experts and a wide range of community organisations and groups, the group focused all energies and efforts to create a roadmap that will identify the most vulnerable Covid patients and provide essential medical and welfare support to them and their families; and then create a longer-term plan to ensure that they do not become the forgotten long-term victims of this pandemic.
We have thought very carefully about how to use the scarce resources to save lives and livelihoods and plan for life after Covid, most importantly, we are working as a coalition to provide co-ordinated support. We plan to work initially in 12 centres in 8 districts of Gujarat*.
IMMEDIATE PLAN: To facilitate home quarantine or community-based quarantine for Covid patients with mild symptoms to take some load away from hospitals.
In order to do this, we urgently need:
Kits offering basic medicines, masks, sanitiser, a thermometer, and a pulse oximeter.
We need 1200 of these now, each one costing £40 per kit
We have access to people with First Aid knowledge (para-health workers) who need some additional basic training to be able to assess, assist and refer a case to a consultant/hospital when needed. This training is being provided by an eminent doctor who will personally deliver all the sessions herself.
We need at least 15 training sessions for 300 para-health workers, at a basic cost £ 60 per training session.
In case of an emergency during home/community quarantine, we need to safely transport patient/s to the nearest identified hospital by a contractually hired vehicle.
We have arranged for some standby rental vehicles at the cost of £ 5,000 per centre.
At the block level or a community facility level, we urgently require at least three oxygen concentrators per centre (which could later be used purposefully at our old-age homes or rural hospitals requiring them).
Cost of 10L Oxygen Concentrator £750 each.
MID-TERM PLAN: Identify and rehabilitate those children who have lost their parents/carers and women who have lost their husband/breadwinner of the household. This will include educational and livelihood support to these fractured families.
Our initial estimates suggest that we already have 200 families that need this support now, needing essentials such as shelter, food, and care, but this figure is increasing daily.
Cost of basic support for one year £ 400 per family
LONG TERM PLAN: AWARE in partnership with a strong coalition of partners will continue to provide much needed education to the most vulnerable children in the region – we anticipate that many more children will need such support. In addition, many of the children will need not only, physical support, but significant emotional support after witnessing some of the horrific scenes and will need bereavement counselling where they have lost their loved ones – we have secured the services of an eminent psychiatrist and other health and welfare workers who are all willing to give their time.
We desperately need to learn lessons for the future and ensure that whatever we do to address the shortcomings of India’s response that it never happens again; and whatever we put in place is sustainable. We therefore would like to undertake some research/evaluation to clearly understand the impact of the pandemic and accordingly advocate changes in the local health system, particularly examining the problems of the primary and secondary health facilities.
We will need funds to secure this long-term work and deal with the trauma and provide hope and aspiration to the many children and young people affected by this major tragedy.
Please support us with the knowledge that we will deliver, as we have done so for the past 22 years to over 17,000 vulnerable children.
* The twelve centres are planned to be in the following districts: Dang (2), Surat (2), Vadodara, Gandhinagar, Mehsana (2), Rajkot, Bhavnagar (2) & Junagadh. Each centre will be linked to a team of doctors and a hospital/s.