COVID pandemic has changed the true sense of LIFE. We realised that many things are beyond our control and trivial human capabilities. We also realised the power of family and friends…our own little safe shield of the community.
Pandemic showed us the mirror where an introspection was needed. We suffered..we learned and we kept going ! 2021 brought us its own set of challenges in India like second wave, vaccinations, unsafe medicines and endless quest of oxygen/ventilator beds.
It’s said that “Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it's less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you've lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that's good”.
Maharashtra Arogya Mandal tried its level best to continue the outreach activities for sickle cell patients. Due to the new surge in covid cases in India; our team could not visit the local centre. However, we used tools of telemedicine, WhatsApp and got help from local volunteers in reaching out to patients.
There was a time in the last quarter of 2020 that COVID is one time crisis and this pandemic will be over by 2021. We thought that our regular camps will resume from March 2021. Unfortunately, new cases and lockdown guidelines did not allow us.
Our tribal sickle cell disease patients suffered all the more with limited healthcare access and no vaccination. Their regular medicines were also getting over and monitoring of sickle cell disease status was also on hold.
Some of our patients were tested positive for covid and faced major problems, some of them also needed hospitalisation. We supplied medicines via courier and post. Patients needing additional COVID specific counselling or treatment were contacted and guided to the nearest COVID centre.
Our virtual meeting with the help of local doctors / village representatives got overwhelming response. We planned all the activities remotely with their help.
Dhadgaon and Akulkheda outreach activities were successful with total 1203 beneficiaries. (Jan to April 2021 with 768 adults and 435 children)
Sickle Cell Dawakhana Dhadgaon: reached out to total 879 ((Jan to April 2021.604 adults and 275 children)
Dr. Dada Gujar Sickle Cell Kendra Akulkheda (Chopra): total 324 (Jan to April 2021.164 adults and 160 children)
With this report we would like to emphasise the need of more care of these extremely vulnerable patients of sickle cell disease.
Our activities during lockdown suggested that patients with genetic blood disorders like sickle cell disease may be at an increased risk of developing serious COVID-19 symptoms and must follow extra precautions. We have created a 10 point plan to cover major lookout areas for sickle cell patients to prevent themselves from COVID and also to maintain their health.
10 point Care Plan for Sickle Cell Patients in COVID pandemic.
1. Stay home as much as possible.
2. Keep in touch with your doctor.
3. Have enough stock of regular essential medicines and supplies.
4. Social distancing should be observed in crowd in case need to step out.
5. Non-essential travel should be avoided.
6. Immediately consult nearest healthcare providers in case of COVID-19-like symptoms.
7. Support groups will help to stay calm in these testing times.
8. Nutritious diet and health supplements will help to maintain health.
9. Monitor health parameters regularly.
10. Stay warm and well hydrated.
We hope our efforts will get support from our donors so that we can strengthen our outreach activities.
Lets be hopeful..that POSITIVE word will have that same “POSITIVE AURA” again.
Until next time…