“Asha Kiran Khobar” the Asha Kiran Hospital team switched into high gear and set up a complete COVID-19 ward and Out Patient Department (OPD) at the Asha Kiran Training Centre!
By God’s grace we still do not have any confirmed cases in our district, and so far we have seen few who even fit into a ‘suspect’ case. But we are preparing ourselves for what we hope will not happen.
Because of the fear linked with COVID-19, we are currently calling the new set up our ‘Cough OPD’ and our ‘Cough ward.’ These are completely sealed off from the main hospital buildings, and also from the residential campus. Thanks to Bro Shaji and the team for the quick work on this.
All through these days we have seen that the whole Asha Kiran Society family is coming together as a team. On the 29th of March, for example, a small army of volunteers came together to scrub down the Asha Kiran Hospital buildings to disinfect them for this season of COVID-19.
Today, every patient who comes to Asha Kiran Hospital is met at our Triage point at the gate and are segregated into ‘cough’ and ‘non-cough’ categories. Those who are coughing sent for evaluation and treatment at the cough OPD, while those who are not are sent to the regular Asha Kiran Hospital OPD or In patient care. We are glad that staff from the Community Services Unit helped set up and run the triage centre for the first 5 days before handing over to staff from the Community Education Unit as well as teachers from the Asha Kiran Academy.
Our medical, nursing and admin teams (supported by maintenance etc) worked very hard to have the whole set-up and running in just 4 days!
Dr. Ravi, Dr. Shobha, Dr. Vinod, Dr. Angel, Sis Biji and many others helped set up protocols, do trainings, shift and set up the wards, manage waste disposal issues, figure out record keeping and medicine stocks and keeping solving a whole raft of other practical challenges.
We have also seen a rapid set of trainings organised for nursing staff, medical staff (zoom conferences seem all the rage now!) and our other support staff.
In a very short period of time our team has changed gears in order to be ready for what was unthinkable even just a month ago when the first clouds of COVID-19 seemed to be far away on the horizon.
In some ways setting up a COVID-19 ward is the last thing that we want to do at Asha Kiran Hospital. There are so many other pressing health and development needs around us as well. But we need to have this facility ready given the public health emergency which we are in. These next 3 weeks are crucial for the spread of the epidemic. As a hospital, we want to be ready for those who will need to be cared for should a wave of infections reach us in the near future. And we will of course be thrilled if no COVID-19 patient is admitted because there are no infections taking place in our communities!
Partnership with the Government
From the very onset of the COVID-19 crisis, the Asha Kiran leadership has been in touch with various levels of government. We very much want to be part of the solution - and are grateful for our amazing staff who are stepping up to the challenges around us.
In the process of setting up our COVID-19 ward, Asha Kiran Society had been asked to submit an application to partner with the government for a 50 bedded COVID-19 hospital. We recently found out that we were not chosen to be the government COVID-19 hospital for our district. Though the government is moving ahead with other plans, we remain ready to do what we can should there be a surge in cases in the next few weeks.