Raahat: Relief and recovery from COVID pandemic in southern Rajasthan

The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for greater preparedness at community level. While COVID-19 pandemic status has been withdrawn by WHO recently, the impact of pandemic and lockdown on weaker sections of community is still visible. Despite several relief activities, there still are marginalized and vulnerable sections of the community, like poorer families migrating for work and older persons, who require continuing support to overcome pandemic effects and normalize their daily life. ARTH is implementing an intervention to reach out to such vulnerable sections in southern Rajasthan, and to assist them in recovery.

Major activities:

  1. Organisation of camps to provide healthcare services
  2. Treatment and care of children with severe malnutrition
  3. Creation of Elderly Support Groups (Buzurg Milan Samooh)
  4. Creating awareness and providing health care to the community
  5. Home visits to ascertain the health and nutritional status of those in need
  6. Providing food, health care and resources
  7. Providing information on government schemes
  8. Promoting healthy living as you age

Since the inception of the programme in September 2021, we identified and located the vulnerable families, and carried out targeted relief activities for these vulnerable families and successfully distributed ration kits, walkers, walking sticks, solar powered lamps, clothes and conducted health care camps in remote rural areas mostly treating people with long-term illnesses which require continuous care and treatment.

Now that the pandemic has ebbed, we have gradually shifted our focus towards health care for older persons and management of malnutrition among children. Such people are identified and referred to our health camps which take place in a pre-decided location every month. At this camp, a doctor with a camp counsellor is available for the day. This is where older persons and malnourished children along with anyone else who visits the camp are treated. People with long-term illnesses are advised by the doctor to visit again. Some people who present with health complications which cannot be treated at the camp are also referred to the district hospital for further care and treatment.

Provision of ration kits to identified vulnerable families issues are provided with walking sticks
Those with more complex movement issues are provided with walkers for better mobility support
Older persons with walking
Those with eye problems are referred and receive eye surgery and/or appropriate treatment