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Indian Church launches home care program for Covid patients

Parish-based scheme will initially cover seven states before being expanded

Indian Church launches home care program for Covid patients

Police and officials inspect a cremation ground on the banks of the River Ganges, where suspected bodies of Covid-19 victims appeared partially buried, at Rautapur Ganga Ghat in Unnao on May 13. (Photo: AFP)

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India’s (CBCI) Office for Health has launched a parish-based home care program for Covid-19 patients in seven states.

The project launched on May 13 at regional offices in Andhra, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu cares for victims of the pandemic.

“Initially we have started in seven states but gradually the project will cover every diocese as we have volunteers there. At present we have 40 regional offices attached to the dioceses,” Father Julius Arackal, secretary general of the CBCI’s Office of Health, told UCA News.

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“The aim of the project is to reduce mortality and morbidity due to Covid-19. The most affected and needy families will be identified and selected by the parishes of the respective areas.

“Volunteers from those areas will be selected and trained by experienced medical practitioners. These trained volunteers will identify and assist such families. Our medical kits contain a fingertip pulse oximeter, steam inhaler and digital thermometer. Trained volunteers will teach families about the usage and application of such medical equipment.”

The selected families will also be entrusted to the care of a doctor from the region. The volunteers will regularly communicate with patients by phone, and the needy will have telemedicine services arranged, he said.

The project will help with early detection and could help in early treatment as well as provide more time to arrange hospital care

Archbishop Prakash Mallavarappu of Visakhapatnam, chairman of the CBCI’s Office for Health, said the home-based approach could reduce the patient load on hospitals and health professionals.

“The project will help with early detection and could help in early treatment as well as provide more time to arrange hospital care. It could also reduce time spent in hospital and the recovery rates could be higher,” the prelate said.

India had reported 23.7 million cases of Covid-19 as of May 12. Maharashtra’s count remained under 50,000 for the fourth consecutive day, while Kerala and Tamil Nadu recorded new highs of over 43,000 and 30,000 cases respectively.

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