New Delhi: As the country continues its battle against the second wave of COVID-19 infections, a new survey has shown that 48 percent of people do not know the government helpline number 1075 in case of any visible symptoms of COVID-19.
According to the survey conducted by Smile Foundation across 12 states covering a total of 27,216 respondents, almost one in four Indians is unable to protect himself completely from getting infected.
The survey was conducted across Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, West Bengal, Jharkhand, and Rajasthan via telephonic interviews in regional languages encompassing Smile’s beneficiaries in underserved areas.
While 22.7 percent of respondents said they visited a private hospital/clinic for primary healthcare services, the majority, about 45 percent, relied on PHCs/CHCs.
Moreover, the survey further noted that about 25 percent did not have total protection (person having a mask, wearing a mask, covering nose with a mask, social distancing of 1-2 metres required to prevent COVID-19, hand washing 5 times a day and min .20 seconds of handwashing).
Talking about the survey, Santanu Mishra, Co-Founder, and Executive Trustee, Smile Foundation said, “The survey outlined that most of the respondents are aware of coronavirus and COVID-19, which is very encouraging. India has shown commendable grit in fighting COVID-19 despite our challenges. We must continue with full vigor, efforts to curtail the spread of the viral infection. This is a time when all stakeholders including the government, civil society organizations, and corporates must work in unison to design and implement strategies that alleviate suffering and improve healthcare outputs for millions of our compatriots.”
The survey identified five factors as key challenges in delivering healthcare to all Indians – lack of awareness of healthcare issues among the general public, lack of access to quality healthcare services, inadequate number of health workers in India, high cost of healthcare, and lack of accountability in the healthcare system.
To address these challenges, Smile Foundation has been running the Health Cannot Wait campaign. Initiatives under this campaign include Smile on Wheels mobile hospitals, Smile Health Camps that provide healthcare services to the larger community, BaatonBaaton Mein Sehat a tele-counselling service for the underprivileged aimed at providing emotional and psychological support in the time of COVID-19, and Health Online telemedicine service through e-clinics.
Smile Foundation is an NGO in India that is directly benefiting over 15,00,000 children and their families every year, through more than 400 live welfare projects on education for poor children, healthcare, livelihood, and women empowerment, in over 2000 remote villages and slums across 25 states of India. Adopting a life cycle approach of development, Smile Foundation focuses its interventions on children, their families, and the community.