Weekly COVID-19 program reports

Following the COVID-19 outbreak in China, the Department of health, CTA proactively issued guidelines on preventive measures and awareness work beginning 24th January, across the Tibetan settlements in India. When WHO declared the disease as a pandemic on 11th March 2020, the department initiated formation of a COVID-19 Task Force on 19th March 2020 chaired by health Kalon Choekyong Wangchuk with Dr Tsetan Dorji Sadutshang and Dr Tsewang Tamdin as its advisory members. To mitigate the potential catastrophic impact of the disease particularly in Tibetan refugee settlements, sub committees headed by the health secretary were created to carry out various COVID-19 related tasks. This section highlights the tasks carried out by the sub committees in coordination with respective settlement offices and branch health facilities.

Human resource available
Emergency Ambulances/Vehicles available in settlement
Meeting with COVID-19 Nodal Officer
Quarantine centers bed capacity across various settlements
Online COVID-19 training data
Country wise COVID-19 online training benficiaries
Dharamsala surveillance committee
passive surveillance 8th october
Settlement wise quarantine data
PPT1-3dec.001
Sorig immune booster distributed

ACTIVE SCREENING AND SURVEILLANCE COMMITTEE

The committee coordinates and collects data on the health status of those under quarantine and weekly updates of the active screening for systems of COVID-19 in the Tibetan settlements in India and Nepal.

The committee monitors the health status of Tibetans living in India and Nepal by coordinating and collecting data of those under quarantine with the goal of ensuring early case detection. Dedicated health workers track their health status on a daily basis and also identify those who may be contagious. A total of 1,151 people were quarantined at home in the first week of April, and currently as of 3rd December there are 578 people under quarantine in community quarantine centers. All those under the quarantine are observed to be healthy and till date 13439 people have stayed under quarantine.

passive surveillance 8th october
PPT1-3dec.001

Since 13 April 2020, active screening for COVID-19 related symptoms is being carried out in 32 settlements in India and 4 settlements in Nepal. The data of the screenings are compiled on a weekly basis.

Amidst the growing COVID- 9 burden and increased mobility across the Indian states, the frontline health workers of CTA who have been proactively screening door to door for Influenza like symptoms since April 2020 across the Tibetan community in India and Nepal were guided to do passive surveillance.

Through this surveillance we aim to protect the most vulnerable populace, who are at higher risk and also is a risk mitigated approach to the community at large pertaining to the percolating threat of COVID-19. The corresponding graph shows figures of the passive screening carried out in Tibetan refugee settlements in India and Nepal.

ACTIVE SURVEILLANCE IN DHARAMSALA

The committee carries out routine screening for COVID-19 related symptoms in the CTA Secretariat Area to mitigate the risk of COVID-19. Weekly individuals including the CTA’s staff and family members,  staff of the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives (LTWA), and Tibetans residing  around Gangkyi, Nechung Monastry, TSO Dharamsala, Gadong  Monastry,  Sambhota office/School, Gangkyi point of entry and Tibetan Medicine and Astro-Institute (TMAI). 

Active screening being done in Gangkyi Area
Active screening being done in Gangkyi Area
Dharamsala surveillance

MENTAL HEALTH COMMITTEE

  • Tele-counseling helpline service was initiated with 8 volunteer school counselors and two advisors, Dr. Kunga Norzom and Geshe Thabkhe Lodroe
  • Weekly online training of the team on specific topics are in progress in collaboration with the Himalayan COVID-19 task-force with four training sessions completed so far
  • 380 vulnerable individuals such as antenatal and pregnant mothers, elderly with hypertension and Diabetes, and mental health problems were followed up by our TVHA nurses at 17 settlements in India for any medical and counseling assistance
  • People who are currently under home or community quarantine centers in Tibetan settlements in India and  in Nepal are being followed up on any emotional or psychological support by our helpline counsellors and Snow Lion Foundation counselors in Nepal
  • Five awareness videos on stress management,  suicide prevention, substance use, interpersonal problems and parenting young children were created and posted on Tibet TV.
  • 646 Tibetans participated in an online survey on the emotional wellbeing and coping during this COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown period.

MEDIA AND AWARENESS COMMITTEE

  • Created and translated awareness materials on COVID-19 and distributed the same across the Tibetan Settlements through branch health facilities.
  • Uploaded helpline numbers of Tibetan and GOI nodal officer of COVID-19 on Tibetanhealth.org and Tibet.net
  • A new section including relevant documents in Tibetan, guidelines, translated awareness posters in Tibetan, dedicated for COVID-19 has been created in DoHe, website Tibetanhealth.org
  • 17 posters and 5 videos and important links on awareness of COVID-19 has been circulated through DoHe and other CTA’s social media handles.
  • The committee has also organized and shared talks on health and how to manage stress related to COVID_19 by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, Dr Tsewang Tamdin, Geshe Lhakdor (LTWA) and Dr Tsetan Dorji Sadutshang. Videos on yoga training, dance and cooking tips have  also been created and posted on official social media handles.
  • The committee has also organized and shared talks on health and how to manage stress related to COVID_19 by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, Dr Tsewang Tamdin, Geshe Lhakdor (LTWA) and Dr Tsetan Dorji Sadutshang. Videos on yoga training, dance and cooking tips have  also been created and posted on official social media handles.
  • Photo and video-graphic documentation of door-to-door thermal screenings, sanitization of settlements and updates on the COVID-19 situation in numbers of India and worldwide have been periodically posted.

LOGISTIC, QUARANTINE CENTERS MONITORING AND COORDINATION COMMITTEE

  • Under the guidance of the Department of Health, CTA, 31 concerned settlement officers have personally met with their respective local COVID-19 nodal officer of the Indian government and others have contacted the officer over telephone.
  • The committee successfully distributed one mask per person in all the Tibetan settlements in India. Of these, the masks provided in 14 settlements were made by Tibetan settlers.
  • The settlement level COVID-19 Task-Force has been able to set up quarantine centers in all the 36 settlements with a capacity of 1718  beds.
  • In case of emergency, all the 36 settlements have arranged emergency vehicles- 16 settlements with DoHe ambulances, 7 rentals and the rest have settlement office vehicles with necessary protection.
  •  Sanitization of all local settlement offices, old age homes, handicraft centres, health facilities are also periodically carried out.
Meeting with COVID-19 Nodal Officer
Emergency Ambulances/Vehicles available in settlement
Community quarantine centers in Tibetan settlements
Community quarantine centers in Tibetan Settlements
Sanitisation in Tibetan settlements
Tibetan settlement officers and health staff with GOI nodal officer of COVID-19
Tibetan settlement officers and health staff with GOI nodal officer of COVID-19
Community quarantine centers capacity in settlements

HUMAN RESOURCE COMMITTEE

As per the call made by the committee for human resource, many volunteers came forward to serve the community in this time of crisis. As of 2 July 2020, 66 medical staff and 16 drivers volunteered their service. Currently, 53 medical staff and 4 drivers have been assigned services in their respective settlements. 22 contract nurses has been hired at settlements where volunteers are not available.

IMMUNITY BOOSTER DISTRIBUTION COMMITTEE

The committee undertakes the distribution of Tibetan medicines prescribed by senior Sorig doctors headed by Dr. Tsewang Thamdin of  (TMAI), especially, for boosting immunity. The medicine packages are issued to people under quarantine fulfilling specific criteria.

  • The expenses of immunity booster medicine packages are being jointly borne by Men-Tsee-Khang (TMAI) and the Department of Health, CTA that is, 1/3rd and 2/3rd of the expenses, respectively.
  • As on 3rd December 2020, Sorig Immune booster Tibetan medicines were distributed to 5103 Tibetans under quarantine, 8725 Tibetans above the age of 65  in India, Nepal and Bhutan , 2854 Tibetans in abroad , 1481 volunteers and health workers and 4040 Tibetans with comorbidities.

PROCUREMENT COMMITTEE

In an effort to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and preventing the spread of infection to our health care workers and patients is critical in supporting the battle against coronavirus. The procurement committee facilitates the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) for Covid-19 response in the Tibetan settlements.

Until now, the procurement committee has delivered

  • 90 infrared thermometers were distributed to 36 settlements.
  • 1600 PPE kits were distributed to 32 branch health centers of the settlements and 3 settlement offices.
  •  12782 surgical masks and 417 N95 masks purchased and distributed to 32 health centers.
  • 1019 gloves and 507 hand sanitizers of 1 bottle each were purchased and distributed to 26 health centers.
  •  297 items of disinfectants such as Lyzol, Phenyl, Harpic etc were purchased and distributed to 21 health centres.
  • 54 gowns, 620 caps, 99 face shields, 206 shoe covers, and 86 raincoats were procured by a few health centres.
  • 632 kg of bleaching powder, 855 litre sodium hypochlorite, 90 sprayer pumps and 535 hand sanitizers of 1 bottle each distributed to all the 36 settlements

ONLINE TRAINING OF HEALTHCARE WORKER ON COVID-19

  • DoHe, CTA released 3 training video modules online for the same.
  • To enhance the knowledge of healthcare workers on COVID-19 & its prevention.
  • To train our healthcare worker (doctors, nurses & CHWs) on management of suspect or confirmed COVID-19 cases.
  • To update doctors on latest development on COVID-19 related antiviral drugs, testing and clinical management.
  • Protection of health care workers from acquiring COVID-19.

All the  health staff at settlements have completed all three modules of the online training.

A total of 153 medical staff from various DoHe facilities in India and Nepal received online training on COVID-19

COVID-19 CARE CENTER

An increasing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases are observed in India while there are also limited healthcare professionals (doctors, nurses, emergency staff, etc.), inpatient facilities and a shortage of supplies and resources like ventilators and personal protective equipment. Given these factors, it is anticipated that the existing treatment facilities of the GOI may prioritize the hospitalization and treatment of severe positive cases. In almost 70% of the cases exhibiting mild to very mild symptoms which often do not require admission to hospital, the Department of Health, CTA will endeavor to share the responsibility of containing and managing these cases. Currently, DoHe is in the process of setting up a dedicated COVID-19 Care Center in Dharamsala

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