Millions of health care workers—physicians, nurses, technicians, other healthcare professionals, and hospital support staff who provide essential services have faced the challenge of providing care for patients during COVID-19. They have faced challenges of not being equipped properly and and many a times have risked their own lives to save the lives of others. In rural areas people have struggled with health issues due to lack of services and lack of primary health-centres. Smile Foundation health-care workers who begun travelling to remote rural areas during the pandemic report from the ground.
Dr. Anil Patel, Smile On Wheels, Chaibasa, Jharkhand
“It fills me with immense happiness when I am able to help children in any form. This time, it was about protecting them from the risk of catching communicable diseases that are on a rise during monsoons. Ensuring their safety by teaching them the use and necessity of wearing a mask, I feel I am able to protect them from harm. It is an empowering feeling not just for these children, but for me as well. It is moments like these that help me realise I am more than a health worker- I am also a caregiver.”
Dr. Sadan Kumar, Smile On Wheels, Chhattisgarh
“Wearing PPE kits for all day long in a humid weather gets quite tiring. But when it comes to taking care of a pregnant women, or an elderly man walking with the help of a stick or even a small child complaining about fever, I forget about my own troubles. All my difficulties suddenly seem irrelevant when it comes to providing health services into remote communities in primary health-centres, where people have been struggling to receive basic health facilities since the lock down began. A smile or even a sigh of relief in return actually makes all my pain fade away.”
Dr. Manoj, Smile on Wheels, Gurugram
“Teaching children about healthy lifestyle is the best way to educate an entire community to safeguard their health by making it a priority. Working in remote corners and slum areas, we are spreading awareness regarding use of masks and sanitizers as the best ways to deal with the rapid increase in #Covid19 cases. And the kids are very responsive and enthusiastic. They learn from us, and pass it on to their elders. When I see this gradual change, I feel like my job as a healthworker is helping save more and more lives everyday.”
To know more about Smile Foundation’s healthcare interventions visit: https://www.smilefoundationindia.org/health-cannot-wait/