The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in India has been marked by debilitating misinformation about the course of the disease and its appropriate management, contributing to an alarming rise of complications, suffering, and death. Patients across the country have been prescribed, or have self-medicated with potentially harmful combinations of medications that have contributed to avoidable complications, hospitalizations, and crippling healthcare costs.
The Swasth Alliance has announced the launch of a partnership of community-based organizations, frontline clinicians and leading scientists from India and the Indian diaspora to develop a community of practice committed to advancing evidence-based COVID-19 care, contextualized to rural India. The partnership, the Swasth Community Science Alliance (CSA), will provide a suite of timely clinical resources for use in rural and urban settings, all vetted for scientific accuracy.
“The goal of the partnership is to provide step-by-step guidance to implement scientifically sound COVID-19 monitoring and treatment strategies for COVID care and at-home treatments in resource-constrained settings,” said Dr. Rajani Bhat, a pulmonologist from Bengaluru, and a convener of this partnership. In addition to such resources, it will also provide training programs and a suite of materials developed to benefit both patients as well as healthcare providers in such settings.
The Swasth Alliance is a volunteer driven effort that has provided supplies, technology and technical assistance to healthcare institutions across India during this second wave. Swasth is an alliance of over 150 healthcare organisations including hospitals, rural health NGOs, insurers, and technology partners. Dr. Ajay Nair, CEO of Swasth Alliance believes that “scientifically sound clinical guidance is critical in order to convert inputs like concentrators and oxygen supply into improved health outcomes in this pandemic and a long term need”.
“The irresponsible use of steroids and antibiotics has led to worse outcomes, and is likely a key culprit in the mucormycosis epidemic,” said Dr. Charuta Mandke, ophthalmologist at Cooper Hospital in Mumbai.
“The interventions that actually work are fairly simple and can be delivered by well-trained community health workers and do not entail expensive labs and medications, provided we stick to the science,” noted Dr. Satchit Balsari, of Harvard Medical School. CSA’s approach is applicable across South Asia and will be accompanied by targeted masking and vaccine campaigns.
The Swasth CSA resources are all available for public use at https://science.swasth.app. NGOs as well as local government institutions that deliver frontline care are welcome to contact the team via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the website.
Press release courtesy of Swasth.