National

To counter Covid-related stigma, WHO and UNDP conducts training

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on August 20, 2020

To combat the growing number of incidents of stigma and discrimination against Covid-19 patients, Karnataka Department of Health and Family Welfare facilitated state-level training on stigma and Covid-appropriate behaviour with the help of WHO and UNDP.

The online orientation and training was conducted for active frontline health staff and healthcare providers.

Dr Mohamed Shariff, DD, SSU facilitated the programme, and Dr Rajani, DD Mental Health and attended by officers at the state level, as well as representatives of the department of police, education, women and child development, and rural development and panchayat raj (RDPR).

Invitees from the Karnataka Government included the Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary, Commissioner (DHFW), MD NHM, Senior Regional Director (HFW), Director (HFW) and PD IDSP.

In his address, Pankaj Kumar Pandey, Commissioner, Department of Health and Family Welfare, said, “There is an urgent need for empathy and moral support for Covid positive persons and frontline workers. We need to keep in mind that Corona warriors also include patients who have recovered from Covid, as they have not only developed antibodies but can also be potential donors for plasma therapy. We should work towards eradicating the stigma attached. This orientation will strengthen the effort to build confidence not only in patients but also all those involved in fighting the disease.”

Moving forward, the orientation on stigma, discrimination and Covid-appropriate behaviours will be taken forward at the district level. The nodal officers for the anti-stigma and discrimination will be the DD SSU, DD Mental Health, and Dr. Anjana P, Senior Project Officer, UNDP Health System Strengthening Project, Karnataka.

The Commissioner also released two handbooks on guidelines on Covid-appropriate behaviour and stigma. These handbooks were developed along with Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT) in collaboration with the State Government. KHPT will print over one lakh copies and distribute these guidelines to health staff in 198 wards in BBMP and in over 6,000 Gram Panchayats in the state, in collaboration with RDPR.

Published on August 20, 2020

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