The ‘Inside Districts’ series launched in April was a one-of-its-kind attempt to capture the experiences of district and Block-level officials, panchayat functionaries and frontline workers, on their challenges and best practices. In the fourth phase of the country-wide lockdown, we went back to some interviewees to understand how their situation had changed. Among them was a Health Supervisor in Solan, Himachal Pradesh.
The interview was originally conducted in Hindi on 14 May 2020, and has been translated.
Q: To what extent are regular OPD services in government hospitals functional?
Health Supervisor: The OPD in hospitals has started completely now. In fact, the number of people coming to the hospitals has drastically increased. My hospital administration is making efforts to ensure social distancing. Private hospitals have also started opening in the district.
Q: How has your work changed with the easing of restrictions? Is your primary focus still on COVID-19 or are you back to routine work?
Health Supervisor: Our primary focus is still COVID-19. These days, a lot of people are coming in from other states. We are collecting information about these people with the help of ASHAs and health workers. We are ensuring that they are quarantined for 14 days. They are also being regularly monitored.
Q: Have you received any kind of training to handle COVID-19 associated tasks?
Health Supervisor: Yes, we received a one-day training. The training was given by the Block Health Officer, and 20-25 people participated in it.
In the training, we were told about the virus and how the infection spreads. We were also told the procedure of quarantining people, and how to implement this for people who are coming from outside. Apart from this, we were asked to make people aware and tell them the importance of washing hands and social distancing.
Q: Have you got a safety kit for household visits with masks, gloves, sanitisers etc?
Health Supervisor: Yes, we have received masks, gloves and sanitisers, now.
Health Supervisors typically supervise a handful of health workers at the Sub-Centre level.