COVID-19 has placed a heavy burden on India’s health system. The key was quick response hence PSI India in partnership with Unilever and the government of the UK established a public–private coalition to reach one billion people with hygiene products, infrastructure and education under Hygiene and Behaviour Change Coalition (HBCC) project. The time-bound mandate was implemented in two cities: Indore in Madhya Pradesh, and Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh. It was rolled out in December 2020 and October 2020, respectively, in each of the selected cities.
“It was eye opening,” says Jagdish. “I thought the vaccine interfered with the diabetes treatment, but when I spoke to the MOIC, I was absolutely convinced it was safe. I am happy Samagra ASHA and FPA helped me overcome my hesitation,” says Jagdish. Read full story More stories
A shared sense of urgency, trust, and alignment of interests played a key role in speedily reaching out to civil society and the private sector in achieving collective goals.
The partnership with Education department, Government of Madhya Pradesh, facilitated awareness campaigns on handwashing and hygiene practices amongst school children in Indore city. PSI India also oriented Indore city municipal staff on cleaning practices for community toilets under the Domestos ‘Cleaner Toilets, Bright Futures’initiative.
In Chittoor city (Andhra Pradesh), partnered with Ward Councillors and Mandal Development Officers (MPDO) in 22 mandals (divisions) to increase the reach of Hygiene and Behaviour Change Coalition’s messaging on COVID-19 and hygiene. PSI India collaborated with Medical Officers and staff of primary and secondary health facilities as well as Sanjeevni clinics in spreading awareness about hygiene practices.
As part of Project Samagra initiative in Indore city, PSI India worked closely with Health department functionaries to ensure that fixed day services on anti-natal care (ANC) and family planning (FP) at UPHCs continued despite COVID-19; PSI India also advocated with the government for layering COVID 19 awareness messaging with family planning messages.
Because health functionaries were diverted to COVID-19 response, family planning, maternal and child health services were badly affected, under Samagra the focus was shifted to coaching ASHAs involved in COVID-19 response using tailored messages on issues like self-care, COVID-19 vaccination, and access to latest guidelines. Also as part of Samagra, PSI India leveraged innovative ‘coaching model’ to coach health functionaries in Indore in reinstating primary health services at facility and community level despite COVID-19 lock downs in place. ASHAs/ASHA supervisors were virtually coached on allaying the fears of the community and continuing to address community’s family planning needs.
Around 1412 facility and community health workers were trained on COVID 19 prevention as part of the ‘Password campaign’ by All India Radio (AIR) in Chittoor district (AP) to ensure the campaign gains were not lost after conclusion of campaign.
As part of partnership with Unilever and Government of UK under HBCC, PSI India worked with Government of Andhra Pradesh and reached 3.4 million people across 120 villages in Chittoor district with targeted messaging on COVID-19/hygiene. To sustain this initiative, over 1400 ASHAs/ANMs, AWCs, village volunteers and Sanghamitras were trained on inter-personal communication skills for effective awareness generation on cleanliness and hygiene related to COVID-19.
In Chittoor district, over 9200 people were engaged through digital and social media, including WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc.
Similarly, across 120 villages in Chittoor district (Andhra Pradesh), of the over 3.4 million people reached with targeted messages on COVID-19 and hygiene. PSI India reached about 1,92,820 people using digital and social media platforms. Moreover, reached more than a lakh people by leveraging social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc. The Bulk GIF messaging were developed for smart phone users as well as for tele-counselling.
In the urban slums of UP, MP and Odisha, under The Challenge Initiative India project PSI India technically supported local governments in developing and rolling out WhatsApp-based messaging on COVID care integrated with family planning.