HELP INDIA HEAL
PLAN INDIA’S RESPONSE TO COVID-19 SECOND WAVE
The second wave of COVID pandemic in India has unleashed an unprecedented public health crisis caused due to the large-scale spread of COVID infection in all parts of the country. According to the news reports, the past few days have seen more than 300,000 cases and nearly 2500 covid related deaths in different parts of the country. The health system, particularly in the large cities and urban areas, is overwhelmed by the incessant stream of COVID patients seeking medical assistance and supplemental oxygen. Therefore, we must spread the message of adherence to COVID appropriate behavior in the communities along with supporting the ramping up of the public health infrastructure to prevent the crisis. In this context, Plan India has launched #HelpIndiaHeal initiative which seeks to directly support nearly 200,000 COVID-affected families in the coming three months (till July 2021). Additionally, 1 million poor and vulnerable families, especially girls and young women, will be indirectly supported through COVID prevention, vaccination, and food security interventions.
The Project will focus on following actions:
- Food aid: To support 100,000 poor and vulnerable families affected by the COVID with food baskets to ensure food and nutrition security for 30 days.
- Mass awareness campaign: Plan International will support one million adolescent girls, boys and young women in 1,800 villages to raise awareness of how to prevent the spread of COVID including tackling stigma and myths surrounding vaccinations.
- Protection for COVID warriors. The organization aims to support 100,000 doctors, nurses, frontline health workers, police personnel, sanitation and other workers with personal protective equipment (PPE) to enable them to continue delivering services to COVID patients.
- Oxygen concentrators for COVID patients. The organization will supply 500 COVID care and treatment centers in district headquarters and smaller towns with high-flow oxygen concentrator machines to enable them to support COVID patients who require supplemental oxygen.
- Supporting 10,000 COVID patients from poor and vulnerable communities in 20 districts by setting up temporary COVID care centers where they can access care, treatment and nutrition.
PLAN INDIA’S RELIEF WORK DURING COVID-19 FIRST WAVE
Plan India’s response to the first wave of COVID last year focused on reaching out to the vulnerable communities with dry ration and hygiene kits, raising awareness among the communities and supporting frontline workers, medical and paramedical staff with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Our goal was to provide gender-sensitive public health support and humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable families so that the impact of the crisis on children, girls and young women is mitigated.
During COVID first wave, Plan India reached out to 200,000+ families with dry ration and hygiene kits, meeting the urgent needs of 1 million+ people on the ground in 12 states including its 8 sponsorship states – Bihar, Delhi, Jharkhand, Odisha, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand covering 29 districts. To ensure learning does not stop for girls’ during the pandemic, Plan India distributed 35000+ education kits. Each of these kits included textbooks and reference books as per the girls’ grade, notebooks, pen and pencil. Safety of the field staff, stakeholders, as well as that of the community is of utmost importance to Plan India. Keeping this in mind contactless distribution of dry ration and hygiene kits was rolled out across all its operational states. Read more about our contactless distribution here.
Supporting People Living With HIV
As part of this community outreach, Plan India’s flagship project Ahana worked relentlessly to serve as a bridge between People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIVs) and life-saving Antiretroviral (ARV) medicine to ensure that their treatment is not stopped during the lockdown. Emergency Identity Cards were issued to 379 Ahana Field Officers in 357 districts of 14 states to ensure the availability of ARV medicines and other necessities associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. These committed frontline workers supported 28,215 PLHIVs including more than 9800 positive pregnant women by delivering life-saving ARV medicine at their doorstep. Ahana also contributed to the fight against COVID-19 by sensitizing people on relevant awareness messaging and reached out to 37,346 families. Read more about Ahana’s outreach during COVID-19 here.
Additionally, while the lockdown made it difficult for the teams to conduct field visits to the sponsored families, Plan India initiated follow-up through phone calls to stay connected with its community members. The teams made daily calls to understand the wellbeing, medical condition and other needs of the families. They also counselled them on the safety and preventive measures around COVID–19. The team reached 45000+ girls and boys over mobile phones. Read more about our outreach over the phone here.
Supporting Frontline Workers
Plan India stands in solidarity with the COVID-19 warriors and has been lending support to frontline workers and medical and paramedical staff with PPE kits, hygiene kits and hospital infrastructure supplementation. During the first wave of COVID, we distributed 39,000+ PPE kits to ASHA, ANM and Anganwadi workers and 12,000+ hospital staff. 16,000+ frontline workers have also been supported with hygiene kits. Additionally, 300,000 triple layer masks and 100,000 gloves have been distributed.
Together with Government Stakeholders
Plan India also supported the initiative of the national agencies like Niti Aayog, National Disaster Management Authority and Ministry of Home Affairs to name a few. We also engaged with the local government agencies, civil society organizations, donors and healthcare experts to spread COVID awareness messages among our beneficiaries and provide them with immediate relief measures to keep them healthy and protected during this pandemic.
In partnership with Niti Aayog, Plan India worked closely in 7 Aspirational Districts where supported District Collectors in their initiatives and efforts to combat COVID. The Aspirational Districts where Plan India worked include Siddharth Nagar (Uttar Pradesh), Haridwar (Uttarakhand), Hazaribagh, West Singhbhum, and Khunti (Jharkhand), Karauli (Rajasthan), and Muzaffarpur (Bihar).
In Siddharth Nagar district, Plan India was appointed as the Nodal NGO for responding to the COVID crisis. Plan India led the planning and monitoring of a coordinated response in the district under the guidance of the District Magistrate and worked in close coordination with the district administration and other local NGOs.
Partnering with the Corporates
Plan India also received support from leading corporates, namely Barclays, Reckitt Benckiser, SBI Cards Metso, Eicher Motors, Sandvik Asia Pvt Ltd, and Give India who came forward to provide the much needed humanitarian relief to some of the poorest and most vulnerable families, particularly young girls and women. To know more about our partnership with corporates click here.
Safety of Staff
Plan India stands for the safety and well-being of its staff even as we continue to reach out to the most vulnerable population impacted by COVID. We adopted new ways of working to ensure that the employees can deliver from home as well as from the office. We reopened our offices in the first week of June with only 30 percent of staff and adequate precautions were followed as per the government guidelines to ensure the safety and well-being of our associates. While working in the office, the employees were required to rigorously follow social distancing norms, wear masks and protective gear and use the Aarogya Setu app. Plan India offices worked with a flexible model wherein employees were encouraged to work from the office on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Before opening the offices, Plan India organized training and capacity building workshops for its employees and filed staff to orient them on the new ways of working in the unlock phase of the COVID. Employees and their families were also provided special medical insurance to cover COVID as a duty of care by the organization. Plan India’s employees are the backbone of the organization and we stay committed to ensuring that they are safe and cared for at all times.
Plan in media on COVID-19
For more media coverage click here