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NESFAS provides help to rural communities in Meghalaya & Nagaland to fight Covid

Shillong, June7: NESFAS and its partners have reviewed  Covid -19in Meghalaya and Nagaland aimed at monitoring and helping partner communities.

In a statement, the NESFAS said on Monday that the onslaught of the second wave of the Covid-19 has hit the country harder than it did during the first wave last year. Worryingly, however, the North East of India has been tipped as the next epicenter for a major outbreak with cases still increasing rapidly. And with healthcare facilities and resources scarce in rural areas, rural communities are among the most vulnerable.

No protective gears

In this context, NESFAS carried out close dialogue with its many partner communities of NESFAS regarding the unavailability of quarantine centers in these communities. In Meghalaya, many of the frontline workers engaged by the Dorbar Shnong were found to be without any special protective gear like face masks and gloves, further increasing the risk of spread among these workers.

NESFAS, over the past few weeks, has worked with partner communities to devise and rollout strategies for community resilience against the deadly virus.

The communities have come forwad in setting up over 112 quarantine centers across Meghalaya and Nagaland. The setup of quarantine centers has also coincided with the distribution of safety kits for the healthcare workers as well as providing necessary requirements to these centres. PHCs  in collaboration with the ASHAs have also initiated health checkups and immunisation drives.

Khweng worst hit

For Khweng community, which is one of the worst-hit communities with over 118 active cases and 1 death, NESFAS in collaboration with Bhoirymbong CHC has provided special assistance to facilitate the starting of 3 quarantine centers in Khweng and Liarsluid.

To further map the situations in these communities, NESFAS undertook a comprehensive review of Covid-19 related situations in Meghalaya and Nagaland on May 28.

The virtual meeting was also attended by NESFAS’s founding Chairperson Phrang Roy along with  Rathindra Roy, Advisor& Facilitator of Learning, Strategic Thinking, and Change.

The review meeting started with Badarishisha Nongkynrih, Lead Associate, Food and Public Health Services, NESFAS, presenting updates on the strategic plan for community resilience against Covid-19 that had been implemented over the past weeks. Three trained nurses from Rapsbun School of Nursing, Nazareth Hospital and one from Down Town Hospital, Guwahati area also supporting the communities on a daily basis.

The review team also mapped for food security within the communities.

Along with the deadly Covid-19 virus, poverty is another virus that has crippled rural communities across the nation since last year. As such, the need to initiate food banks was discussed as a means to combat hunger and to strengthen communities. Phrang Roy  stressed mainly on building self-resilience communities to be self-sufficient and not be too reliant on the government for various needs during times of crisis.

In addition to this, NESFAS has set up Covid -19 monitoring in 130 partner communities with the objectives to:

  • Understand the situation of project villages/communities from the disease point of view.
  • Understand the level of preparedness of project villages towards Covid-19.
  • Understand the challenges and difficulties faced by our community.

 

So far, various parameters of the monitor have indicated positive responses and actions from the partner communities. Of the 130 partner communities, 125 participated in the survey for “Sufficient Local Food Productions”with 45.36% of the communities being highly prepared (10-12 months), 47.44% medium (7-9 months), and 7.2% low (less than 6 months). As many as 113 communities have also set up Covid-19 committees with the remaining 17 communities without active committees presently as they have not reported any Covid-19 so far.

 

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