Helping Pune Municipal Corporation Harness Technology to Address Coronavirus Crisis

Helping Pune Municipal Corporation Harness Technology to Address Coronavirus Crisis
Thursday 9 April 2020

Save the Children is helping the Pune Municipal Corporation use digital technology in their day-to-day operations by setting up Video Conferencing units. The use of technology can be helpful in addressing the ongoing Coronavirus crisis. 

The video conferencing units have been set up as part of Save the Children's intervention of supporting the government in reaching out to Public Health Specialists who are working on the ground. This type of communication medium is helping specialists to provide critical services to Pune citizens. 

Save the Children has been closely engaging with various government authorities and complementing their efforts in the current situation. With the outbreak of the Coronavirus, there was a need to train medical staff on an immediate basis, and gathering them in large numbers was out of the question as social distancing is being followed throughout the country. Save the Children's team immediately responded to the needs of the government and drafted an action plan wherein we utilized our technological set up for the greater good. 

This technological setup was provided in various healthcare centres functioning under Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), where Save the Children's Project (in collaboration with Avaya) is already being implemented. The centres needed an urgent update in terms of technology, and there was a need to train the Outpatient Department (OPD) staff regarding the effective management of the Coronavirus outbreak as they cater to high-risk patients like pregnant and lactating women. 

In these perilous times, the staff needed all the facilities to stay updated with information/directives from the government. Taking this and the betterment of the target population into consideration, Save the Children facilitated a video conferencing session with the Health Facility Providers. The content of the session included: important pointers related to Coronavirus, its signs and symptoms for further reference, its spread, precautions to be taken, steps taken by PMC Health Department to check the spread, type of patients who need to be referred ahead and disposing of biomedical waste such as used masks, etc. 

Using the set up provided by Save the Children, a video conferencing-based training was organized on March 18, 2020, by Dr. Manisha Naik (Assistant Medical Officer - PMC). A total of 143 medical professionals, including doctors, nursing staff, pharmacists, trainee doctors, and class IV staff of the hospitals, participated in this.  Dr. Manisha Naik, "This VC platform is important as we can address all health facility staff at one go and can reach out to them on a large scale. At this crucial point of time, with the effective use of this digital technology, we are not only monitoring the situation but also keeping our staff updated. Considering the present situation of this pandemic, our teams are not in one place, and thus, the VC training is very effective. We are thankful to Save the Children for providing this technical platform to the Medical and Health Department of Pune Municipal Corporation".

Sasoon Hospital under BJ Medical College of Pune is a designated Coronavirus treatment facility. The Post Graduate students and the medical staff has been trained through webinars conducted by AIIMS, Delhi. The set of for these webinars was provided by Save the Children. 

The Pune Municipal Corporation Health Department acknowledges the technical support provided by AVAYA and Save the Children. They intend to develop Video Conferencing as a more viable, effective, and alternate medium of communication in the future as well. 

About Our Programme

Save the Children, in collaboration with Avaya India, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), and B. J. Government Medical College (BJMC), Maharashtra is implementing Project Kushal. This project aims to address the challenges related to the capacity building of the healthcare providers around Maternal &Newborn Health (MNH). Through this project, we are working towards providing an innovative approach via IT-based training to the staff working in government health facilities by using Video Conferencing (VC) platform. 

VC platform serves as a unique idea to build capacities and ensure continued medical education for health staff, who are physically located at different sites but are directly involved in the service delivery related to Maternal and Newborn care. This setup ensures uniformity in knowledge sharing across these health facilities without hindering their routine functioning.