Bengaluru

Volunteers step in to help with work at UPHCs

Volunteers of The Ugly Indian, in association with BBMP, are working on making the Vibhutipura UPHC a model in ‘humane crowd management’.   | Photo Credit: HANDOUT E MAIL

Since the end of February this year, 64-year-old D.S. Nathan, a resident of Nisarga Layout, has been spending hours every day at the Urban Primary Health Centre (UPHC) in Doddanekkundi ward. He ensures that those coming to get vaccinated follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour (CAB).

“When I went to get vaccinated, I saw that the people coming to the UPHC were not maintaining social distance. When the number of people gradually increased, the problems also compounded. Someone needed to step up, and I decided to help out,” he said.

Mr. Nathan, who has been isolating himself from his family, is at the UPHC every day between 9.30 a.m. and 3.30 p.m. “I have been active in various social work initiatives. People from the community recognise me. Though there have been instances of some disagreements, people are generally respectful in recognition of the time that I have been spending every day at the UPHC,” he added.

Such voluntary efforts are essential in the UPHCs where testing and vaccinations are being carried out simultaneously. Following the spurt in cases, the demand for vaccination has increased. This has meant that more and more people are going to UPHCs either for testing or vaccination.

The Ugly Indian (TUI), in association with the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), has initiated efforts in ‘humane crowd management’ towards making Vibhutipura UPHC a model.

According to a TUI volunteer, with testing and vaccination happening in the same premises, there was a need to ensure on-site safety. This could have been achieved by simply shifting the vaccination site away from the testing centre. “The government has recently announced a decision in this regard. Our objective was to put in place an implementable plan that can be scaled up,” the volunteer said.

The TUI volunteer added that simple measures, such as providing uniform jackets and face shields to volunteers, portable mics to ensure that volunteers can be heard, good-looking tokens, making sure there are extra masks that can be handed over at the entrance to ensure people are double masked, markings on the ground, social distancing cues and well-placed signages had helped a great deal.

“Over the past week, we have seen that these measures have worked. We started with Vibhutipura UPHC. The model can be replicated in other wards,” the volunteer said.

TUI now has a rapid team of five members, who can provide hands-on training and assist communities to adopt UPHCs in their neighbourhood for similar initiatives.

“We have been approached by a few communities. We are also working with non-governmental organisations and large donors who are helping the UPHCs on the medical side,” the volunteer said.

To know about how TUI went about making the UPHC safer, watch https://youtu.be/PfwksApQHaY. To adopt a vaccination centre, drop an email to TUI (theuglyindians@gmail.com).


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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 6:44:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/volunteers-step-in-to-help-with-work-at-uphcs/article34573534.ece

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