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Bengaluru: Anekal finds unique way to bring down Covid mortality from 4% to 1%

Anekal finds unique way to bring down Covid mortality from 4% to 1%
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Anekal finds unique way to bring down Covid mortality from 4% to 1% 

Highlights

Anekal, 20 km from here, has come a long way in bringing down Covid-19 mortality rate from 4% during the early stages of the pandemic to 1%.

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Bengaluru: Anekal, 20 km from here, has come a long way in bringing down Covid-19 mortality rate from 4% during the early stages of the pandemic to 1%.

Community participation and government officials and doctors who burnt the midnight oil devising strategies to deal with the scary situation, helped Anekal push back the mortality rate. In October, the taluk also ramped up the testing from 800 per day to 2,000 per day.

Officer on Special Duty (OSD) and nodal officer, Covid operations, Anekal taluk, Dr Vaishnavi gives credit to the unique Covid management strategy for the success. When she took the charge as nodal officer, Covid operations, her main concern was to bring down the mortality rate.

"Unlike in other zones people here are not much aware of the infection. We have formed a team comprising ASHA and Anganwadi workers, teachers and an Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM), who visited every village and every street to test people. Since Anekal is an industrial pocket if there is a Covid cluster we will close the industries. We take the support of the tehsildar in contact tracing," she says.

One of the other unique features of the taluk was the tie up with the Department of Ayush that provides immune boosting medicines. Vaishnavi has introduced a short child-friendly Covid awareness video to be screened before every online class by private schools. The two-minute video has medical officer Neetha Reddy of Haragadde Primary Health Centre (PHC) explaining the need to adopt Covid appropriate behaviour and facts about the virus.

In September, a 50-bed Covid hospital was inaugurated at Anekal. The Azim Premji Foundation and Doctors For You collaborated to run the facility.

"Anekal is the only taluk to have brought down the mortality rate from 3.85% to 1% in two months. We have the support of gram panchayat and local bodies. We have also been able to get CSR funding. No other taluk has a dedicated Covid hospital run by government with CSR funding. We are also getting bike ambulances to cover remote villages," she adds.

Since people with comorbidities are vulnerable to Covid a major focus is on the aged, very young populace and lactating women.

Vaishnavi has also got demographic profile of Covid cases done for necessary course correction. Profiling Covid deaths is one of unique features of the strategy in Anekal.

"We have profiled 217 deaths to understand what went wrong and solutions needed to reverse the trend. Type A where the patient didn't come out to get tested; Type B where we have found treatment problem at the hospital; Type C where death occurred due to system failure (ambulance sent late to pick up the patient) and Type D - none of the above," Vaishnavi explains. One of her brainchild is to rank hospitals on the basis of their performance.

She states, "We are getting pandemic ready. We also rank hospitals which are going well as they are drawing money from Suvarna Aarogya Suraksha Trust (SAST). They are equally responsible."

Her next focus is to reduce deaths as she remarks, "We can't have people dying due to Covid."

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