Amardeep Singh Cheema, Chairman Punjab Health Systems Corporation, during the corona testing has introduced innovating concept of Direct Contact proved very helpful in view of the hesitation shown by the masses in COVID-19 testing in initial stages. He has approached Elected Representatives of Panchayati Raj Institution (PRIs) i.e Panchayat Samiti Members , Sarpanches and representatives in Urban Local Body(ULB) Municipal Councillors in an organized programme “Direct Connect (Siddhi Pahunch)” where he encouraged these public representatives to use their local influence to motivate large number of people from the respective areas for getting the maximum corona testing done and encouraging the people to participate in vaccination drive started by Govt. of Punjab through Department of Health & Family Welfare in the age group of above 45 years, apart from health workers and frontline workers in this initiative in a pilot mode.
Mr. Cheema approached more than 2000 village Sarpanches and 200 Block Samiti Members and personally wrote a letter to more than 200 Municipal Councillors & Sarpanches and subsequently via Telephonic Messages. Further to this initiative he tried reaching more than 12000 people called Micro Leaders having significant local area of influence for encouraging the COVID-19 testing through Permanent Public Health Facilities and Mobile Units and at the same time requesting them to influence persons above 45 years of age to reach their nearest health facility which is not more than 3 km of their residence for getting the anti Corona vaccination.
Mr.Cheema said to have a lasting impact of this innovative campaign more than 20 Glossy Wall Posters were pasted in unit area and 6 ft. by 5 ft. flex boards were displayed at local Vaccination Centres with details of the local contacts to approach in hour of medical emergency and 104 and 108 helpline.
Respective Senior Medical Officer(SMO) of Block Primary Health Centre(PHC), Community Health Centre(CHC) and Sub-Divisional Hospital(SDH) are the local coordinators and one stop shop for all health related Corona Activities in this approach .
Help of well established NGOs, Local Religious and Social Organizations involved in social work , Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Mandals(RGMM), Women Self Help Groups and Youth Clubs associated with Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan were taken on board in spreading the message and tackling this pandemic in district Gurdaspur.
Gurdaspur Deputy Commissioner, Mohammad Ishfaq played a significant role in organizing the other Departments having wider Public Dealing including Revenue, Education, Electricity Board and Transport etc in encouraging the COVID-19 testing and corona vaccination. He visited various facilities also to encourage the field staff.
Mr. Cheema while appreciating the participation of local public representatives of PRI and Urban Local Body (ULB) in few instances Sarpanches played a major role in convincing the residents to get their admission in L-2 and L-3 health facility due to their falling oxygen saturation level.
This organized campaign “direct connect (sidhi paunch)” will be a game changer where entire block had a well connected chain of Sr. Medical Officer(SMOs), Lady Health Worker(LHV) ,Associated Nurse Midwifery(ANM), Health Inspector(HI), (Accredited Social Health Activist(ASHA) , Sarpanch, 108 & 104 helplines and escalation matrix starting from ASHA to L-1, L-2 & L-3 hospitals.
Mr. Cheema while appreciating the initiative of Chief Minister Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh of leaving no stone unturned in tackling the corona crises and handholding of the health workers and highlighting their success stories said this has really boosted the morale of frontline workers.
Mr. Cheema who personally visited Dozens of COVID-19 testing centres and Vaccination Sites in Districts of Pathankot, Gurdaspur , Amritsar and Tarn Taran shared that this personal interaction with grass-root level Volunteers and Health Workers and Doctors has helped in reinforcing the trust and faith of the frontline workers.
This interactive activity by top leadership with health Workers has given a boost to their innovations at the village level through utilizing and organizing the maximum utilisation of infrastructure available in the form of Public Address System, Seating arrangements, Power Consumption and various Modes of Transport of the village level community places like Gurdwara, Mandir, Masjid, Dharamshala, Primary School, Janj Ghars, Anganwadi Centres and playgrounds etc. has reposed the faith of masses in Public health facilities.
Mr. Cheema said after the initial reluctance and carelessness of citizens in checking the spread of COVID-19 the gravity of situation emerging and information coming from other States and Global Information flow has shaken the masses. The efforts of frontline health worker and various departments of Govt. of Punjab has motivate these people to follow the COVID-19 guidelines and instructions and encouraging the people for corona vaccination will definitely help in tackling this pandemic and this has given a ray of hope to the frontline health workers which were under lot of stress due to overstretching of their working hours everyday and long spell of 15 long months of unexpected pandemic.