In Assam’s Jimirigaon village, Asha worker Kanika Rabha and nurse Rashmi Kachari are going door-to-door screening over 400 residents for Covid symptoms.
They also monitor people who are in home isolation and check their oxygen levels twice a day.
“When the first case was found in the villages we got terrified. Even now we are worried, but we have to win over Covid and protect the village from it, that’s why we are doing this,” Kanika Rabha told NDTV.
In Assam, with Covid numbers spiking in rural areas, the state had relaunched its community surveillance programme after success in controlling the numbers in the first wave.
“We basically quiz people and look for those who have a fever, cough, cold or other symptoms, we list and report those cases and arrange for the medical team and also give medicines to them” Rashmi Kachari explained to NDTV.
Like Jimirigaon, Assam’s 26,000 villages will be surveyed under the community surveillance programme run by rural health workers. Around 24 thousand ASHA workers will be conducting door-to-door surveys.
Besides the ASHA worker, each surveillance team has a nurse, a doctor, a lab technician, and a paramedic.
Till June 17, 1.88 crore people have been surveyed.
Nearly 24,000 of the 26,000 villages in Assam got covered in just 15 days. And 2.93 lakh covid tests have been done at the village level, with 9,000 positive cases being identified so far. The villages surveyed have a positivity rate of 3.24 per cent, marginally higher than the average positivity rate of the state (3.05 per cent).
Besides testing and isolating those showing Covid symptoms, the rural healthcare workers also identify people suffering from diarrhea, malaria, and even Japanese Encephalitis.
“We have two rapid response team is ready, whenever we get the information from an ASHA worker about a positive case or people who are to be treated, we rush with oxygen cylinders and other equipments, and start the preliminary treatment at the village,” said Bhaskar Bharali, the Medical Officer at the Mataikhar Primary Health Centre (PHC).
The Deputy Commissioner of Kamrup rural district, Kailash Kartik, said: “We have made an emergency Covid stabilization unit where we have lifesaving drugs and once the patient is shifted, we stabilize them and then shift them to covid hospitals.”