New humanitarian approaches have helped people across the country to reverse the epidemic

A few months ago, when the world was shaken by the tragedy of second wave of COVID-19, adults within the tribal areas of Madhya Pradesh have to contend with another challenge: vaccination for people who do not respond to any coronavirus vaccine.


It was April 15, 2021, and less than 10% of eligible people were vaccinated in Jhabaa, Madhya Pradesh province, according to government statistics, by one of India’s largest populations. It was at this point that the authorities decided to implement their policies trying to spread a timely vaccine message. They started with planning tired baithaks (khati means “woven bed,” with baithak means “meeting”), or public meetings, to dispel myths about vaccinations.

As of July, Jabhia saw a five-fold increase in vaccination, with approximately 40% of eligible people in the state receiving a single dose. Instead, as members of the Women and Child Development department donated turmeric-coated rice to rural homes as a traditional way of getting people to the state immunization program, the district’s vaccine activities became more visible.

The simple definition of action can make it seem as if the Jhabaa region is well known in the larger context of the COVID-19 acquisition strategies. However, the data has led us to see that, simply, it is not. Like Jabhia, there are several states and territories where individuals and groups, governments and civil society organizations, have taken action to ensure that COVID-19 is reduced in any way – whether this means using rice or tired baithaks. But just as it is easy to put an end to such stories in so many stories, it is easy to see why our journey over the past few months has begun.

Starting place

In April and May 2021, after the second world war, a small group of us – which soon grew to more than 500 people – gathered to form India COVID SOS. We realized that there were many people who had made it their goal to help people move to safer areas: medical professionals who, despite the large number of patients, were monitoring COVID-19 in a proven, intelligent manner. ; vaccination teams in all villages in despair; staff to ensure that even remote areas have adequate ventilation, and so on. These efforts needed to be demonstrated, and space was needed to record lessons from such successful initiatives.

Subsequently, together with Exemplars in Global Health, our research initiated the development of education from India; now publicly available, the forensic studies show interventions and innovations that brought positive results in the epidemic response in India.

We have proved that the story of Jhabaa was no different. As our research shows, there are other commendable efforts. For example, in February 2021, when the vaccination campaign in India began, health workers in Janefal, a rural community of over 500 people in the Maharashtra district of Aurangabad province had a difficult time persuading people to get vaccinated. Others had heard reports from neighboring villages about people who had died of vaccinations. Some believed that those who received the vaccine should get their hands cut off.

In order to build confidence and confidence, community leaders and other community workers set an example by getting vaccinated first. They took pictures of them receiving the vaccine, and later, to allay their fears, spent a long time painting gram panchayat houses. A working group was also formed. There are also medical personnel, police and village council officials who have found that rural people are extremely nervous at hospitals and are afraid that doctors will kill them and have their kidneys taken away if they go for treatment. When the nearest vaccination site was five miles[8 km]away, the team overcame all obstacles to run a vaccination camp in the village, based on community immunizations. He did the same on April 27, Hanuman Jayanti – a day of joy for the locals. It was a wise and prudent way to seize opportunities for the right reasons.

In Tamil Nadu and Bihar

In Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, district superintendents in collaboration with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) addressed skepticism of the vaccine well, too. NGOs have asked community members to write songs in the vernacular to explain the benefits of vaccination. The district government also wrote statements from village leaders in their own languages, on the effectiveness of the vaccine, and broadcast the messages to various villages in the state. This helped the villagers to develop trust, and soon, the number of vaccines increased again.

Also read | Nilgiris District has an adult population eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine

In East Champaran, Bihar, authorities successfully secured a 95% COVID-19 vaccine for officers on the Bankata block in just two days using the so-called “Bankata Way”. The Bankata block vaccine in history had a low vaccination rate of 64.3% due to difficult environmental conditions, health risks and vaccination concerns among others. To address this, the district adopted a mission approach. This was an effort by all government departments in collaboration with the World Health Organization, government agencies, local elected leaders, and religious leaders to encourage all eligible government officials to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. In just 48 hours, more than 55,000 of the 62,000 people registered in the state were vaccinated by setting up vaccinations in 102 villages and villages in the region. Khamali also affected the entire region with similar testing activities, which provided 100% distribution of the first level in early October.

Work is in progress

Like these stories, there are many such things novel, inspiring effort which can be found in the studies we have helped to integrate. Our idea has always been to draw a lot of pictures that can convey the highest points, through visual representations that work well (or not). But we are just beginning. It is important that we continue to strive to expand the scope of our education, making it a repository of accurate knowledge and encouragement. If we can better share and disseminate what we have learned and highlight the best practices from different rural areas, we can take action to be prepared to deal with future health problems.

(India COVID SOS is a global nonprofit nonprofit team of scientists, physicians, engineers, policy makers, community planners, and industry partners. Exemplars in Global Health brings together researchers, funders, and colleagues from around the world “The countries that are the best in the world in terms of global health. Their evaluation of best practices strives to be a role model for others at the national / regional level.)

Purnima Menon is a senior researcher at the International Food Policy Research Institute, New Delhi. Madhukar Pai is a professor of epidemics and global health at McGill University, Canada. Dedicated to India COVID SOS


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