Save the Children supported the Pune Municipal Corporation use digital technology in their day-to-day operations by setting up video conferencing units. This digital integration was done to assist the civic body address the COVID-19 crisis in 2020.

The video conferencing units were set up to support the government in reaching out to Public Health Specialists who were working on-ground. This type of communication medium helped the specialists to provide critical care to the residents of Pune.

Save the Children has closely worked with various government authorities and complemented their efforts to mitigate the pandemic situation. With the outbreak of the pandemic, there was a need to train medical staff on an immediate basis, and gathering them in large numbers was out of question as social distancing was 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 the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). 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 about the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, as they cater to high-risk patients like pregnant and lactating women.

In such 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 COVID-19, 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 had participated in this. Dr. Naik had said, “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 was very effective.”
Sassoon Hospital under BJ Medical College of Pune was a designated Coronavirus treatment facility. The post graduate students and the medical staff were trained through webinars conducted by AIIMS, Delhi. The set-up for these webinars was also supported by Save the Children.

The Pune Municipal Corporation Health Department said that the video conferencing will emerge 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 more so at a time when face to face communication is a challenge.

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