Express News Service
Integrated Health & Wellbeing Council (IHW Council) has launched two initiatives – #OurPositiveFight to provide oxygen support to patients and families of the frontline workers, and Janani to address challenges in women healthcare in the pandemic.
“#OurPositiveFight includes setting up of a use-andreturn Oxygen Concentrator Bank and other useful medical devices such as pulse oximeters and thermometers and disposables such as masks, sanitisers, PPE kits especially for the benefit of frontline workers such as medical staff, cleaning staff, delivery staff, utility staff, journalists, police personnel and other professionals and workers who are working on the frontline,” informs Kamal Narayan Omer, CEO, IHW Council.
The services can be availed by sending requests on the website ihwcouncil.org/ o2bank or WhatsApp number +91 1161368192. “Also, we are distributing masks medical essentials at old age homes, orphanages and among other needy communities,” says Omer, adding, “We are reaching out to corporates to support the project under their CSR fund and fundraising platforms such as ketto.org. At present, the project is supported by Mumbai-based Bharat Serums and Vaccines Limited and ImpactGuru.com, and PR firm Teamwork Communication Group in Delhi.”
Over 20 people have received help since the project was initiated on April 23. “We have a team of 15 in various roles from logistics to awareness building. The ground team ensures safe delivery of oxygen concentrators to Covid patients, bringing these back after use and making these safe for the next patient,” adds Omer.
Reports last year suggest that about 1.3 million women in India lost access to contraceptives and abortions between January and June. The analysis of the Health Management Information System (HMIS) by Population Foundation of India on maternal health outcomes for the period of April- June 2020 showed a 27 per cent drop in pregnant women receiving four or more antenatal care, a 28 per cent decline in institutional deliveries, and 22 per cent decline in prenatal services, when compared to the same period in 2019.
Noting the disruptions caused by the pandemic in the field of women’s health, IHW Council launched a pan-India women’s health helpline Janani on June 5. “Under our dedicated Shapath 1,000 Days mission to improve the health of women and infants in India, we have made Janani Health Helpline (9739693300) available in Hindi, English, Kannada and Tamil with more than 150 gynaecologists and women health experts on board,” adds Omer.
The helpline is managed by StepOne, supported by Asian Research & Training Institute for Skill Transfer (ARTIST for Her), and backed by 10-member core groups of Covid care and obstetrics and gynaecologists.
“Bengaluru-based ARTIST For Her will upskill volunteer doctors, while StepOne will provide the telemedicine platform run by more than 1,000 volunteers. Further, we aim to ramp up the helpline with an additional 350 volunteer doctors and make it available in 10 more languages in the next three months,” informs Omer.
Till now, the helpline has attended over 50 calls from all over India. “Women’s health is one of the most neglected segments, with singular focus on pregnancy and periods before and after that. Utilising telehealth, we aim this helpline to play a pivotal role in bridging this gap,” says Omer, throwing light on the inclusive nature of the initiative by adding, “The Janani helpline doesn’t require a smartphone or internet connection. One can dial from anywhere using any mobile phone or a landline with an all-India call facility.”