Amrita designed and delivered a holistic approach based on indentified knowledge gaps in COVID-19.
Health workers and a health coordinator from 4 villages in Odisha district were trained on COVID-19 response. The training was conducted by Ayurvedic and Allopathy doctors who:
Designed a curriculum for health workers and tribal healers that incorporates the use of Ayurveda medicine for preventive care and the management of the common diseases.
Trained health workers and tribal healers in the prevention and managment of COVID-19 infection according to up-to-date guidelines and information published by the Government of India.
The training sessions were conducted in regional languages.
Certification will be provided after thorough assessment of COVID-19 specific knowledge both orally and in writing (one month at Amrita, and 2 months on-site training).
Training included the following components:
Introduction on the SARS-CoV-2 virus causing the COVID-19 disease
How does the virus spread?
How to minimize the risk of being infected?
Preventive measures based in Ayurveda.
Classes: Six days a week, 1-2 hours per day through Google meet, Zoom or Whatsapp video calls. Mode of teaching: 30-days training or sixty hours with discussions, video links, voice messages and PPTs.
After classes, all trainees were required to participate in field visits (house visit/telephonic awareness sessions) where they were training tribal communities on COVID-19.
Project feedback and outcomes:
Feedback from majority of trainees was very positive, participants stated that they had recieved valuable training, and were getting information about Covid-19 of which they were had not been previously aware.
Trainees attended all classes regularly and were keen to learn about the Covid-19 disease and what they can do to fight the disease.
After classes, trainees sent regular updates and photos of their field visits (house visit/telephonic awareness sessions)
Stigma: At the beginning of the program trainees were not aware about how to handle close contacts with villagers as they feared they would become infected. After the training, they understood the proper practices and also how to avoid social stigma.
After finding positive cases: Some villagers were still not receptive to awareness and precaution measures given by the health workers. The health workers made additional calls/visits to tackle this problem.
Tribal people: have difficulty in receiving any new information; it often takes time for them to accept new situations – this could be due to a fear of the unknown.