As COVID-19 is highly contagious so mass awareness is the only way to tackle the menace as of now till the vaccines or antidote is out for circulation. In the meanwhile, GNRC Hospitals, the first Superspecialty hospital of North East India is attempting to achieve something phenomenal with its huge pool of Swasthya Mitras or Community Health Workers. Currently, the hospital has 10,000 Swasthya Mitras covering the entire state of Assam. Every day each Swasthy Mitra makes a minimum of 50 calls to the families in their designated areas and advises them about the menace of COVID-19. They are being taught to not panic but rather understand the precautions they need to take to protect themselves as well as others from this deadly virus. Digital pamphlets are being distributed in large numbers, WhatsApp messages have been continuously circulated and awareness messages have been frequently displayed through newspapers and regional television channels. The hospital is aiming to cover 6.4 million households in the state of Assam with such activities. This can surely prove to be very effective along with state government measures to contain this deadly outbreak.
In a message to the media, Dr. Nomal Chandra Borah, Founder- Affordable Health Mission and GNRC Hospitals, said, “We are going through a very difficult phase. This is the time we need to support each and other and especially support the government in their efforts to contain this pandemic situation. We are confident of tackling this pandemic well in our state as well as the country. We are in continuous touch with the community through 10,000 active Swastya Mitras or Community Health Workers. Through the active use of social media like Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Bulk SMS service, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram along with Television and Newspapers we are spreading the message of proper hand washing, social distancing and requesting the people to stay inside.” It is noteworthy to mention here that GNRC Medical, Barasat in West Bengal has been designated as a COVID hospital by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, West Bengal and it is rendering yeoman service to the COVID patients there.
‘Swasthya Mitra’ is a concept exclusive to GNRC Group of Hospitals and they work among the masses to sensitize them about basic hygiene tips as well as other preventive measures so that they can avoid preventable diseases. Moreover, they educate people to identify various diseases with their respective symptoms so that they can opt for medical help whenever necessary. These Swasthya Mitras are regularly trained and upgraded by GNRC.