The COVID-19 second wave in India has been horrific. Sustained effort will be required to reduce the very visible deficits in healthcare. This fund will be used specifically to support Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)’s ongoing response in Mumbai. As of today:
· MSF is working in collaboration with the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai in Maharashtra, managing one of the Dedicated Covid-19 Health Centres (DCHC). A team of, 50 staff as of April 28 including anaesthesia technicians, doctors, nurses, psychologists and health educators are working to improve the capacity for co-management of moderate and critical COVID-19 patients.
· The Dedicated Covid-19 Health Centres (DCHC) is divided in Phase one and Phase two- each being an inbuilt space with 1000 beds. In the Phase 1 unit, we are managing observation and triage in 6 wards with 28 oxygen beds each and in the Phase 2 unit MSF will support 4 wards with 28 oxygen beds each in the 1000 bed-capacity centre.
· MSF is also undertaking precautionary measures to ensure continuity of care to 1287 DRTB patients at Shatabdi hospital outpatient department project and at the MSF Independent Clinic. The teams are scaling up screening, shielding, testing and referral activities at the hospital, community and 9 health posts. Shielding is mainly targeting vulnerable groups in the informal settlement and patients with diabetes, elderly people, TB /DRTB patients, and patients on antiretroviral therapy (ART).
· MSF has re-started digital and health promotion in the community along with Water and Sanitation activities in M-East Ward (MEW) of Mumbai. Health promotion at the community level is also part of preventing the most vulnerable from getting infected in the densely populated informal settlements.
As the situation continues to evolve, MSF is continuing its assessment to see how it can further support the deteriorating situation in Mumbai and other parts of India.
“I used to be very patient-centred, all about patient advocacy. Now I’m scared of building relationships with patients. At first I did that, and then I would come back for my next shift and see their empty bed, and that would break my heart.”
~ Gautam Harigovind, MSF Medical Activity Manager, COVID-19 project, Mumbai