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The unprecedented uncertainty brought about by COVID-19 is one that has affected all of us globally. While navigating this new unknown, interventions and public services are set in place to ensure the needs of the communities are met. The unpredictable nature of this pandemic means that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to address localised challenges exposed by traditional support systems. This is when social purpose organisations with expert knowledge on the ground could come in to address these challenges and enhance conventional systems. These solutions are designed to help the communities in times of distress and provide support through their different innovations.
From collaborative efforts to produce preventative kits for frontline workers to designing telehealth consultations, below are different ways in which the Social Purpose Organisations are addressing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Leveraging Technology to combat the outbreak
Save the Children, a non-profit organisation with operations worldwide, is leveraging on their existing technology and implementation system, Waliku, to control future local outbreaks of COVID-19. Through their model of reporting and surveillance of students and teachers’ absence and illness data, they are working together with stakeholders and local governments to design outbreak prediction models and dashboards that could inform policy makers on interventions. These could include mitigation strategies such as testing; case isolation, treatment, and hospitalization; and quarantine of family members; and additional suppression strategies including social distancing of entire populations, with school and workplace closures.
Jaga-Me is a digital healthcare platform that enables access to quality healthcare from hospital to home, through a global community care network. Through this work, Jaga-Me has built a community of JagaPros comprising of skilled professional nurses qualified to meet specialised medical needs as well as experts in the non-medical aspects of caregiving at home. During this time, to support this community of JagaPros as they continue their service, Jaga-Me developed an e-learning course on COVID-19. This course provides easy access to information such as identifying symptoms, possible ways of transmission, along with ways to prepare for different scenarios to ensure that the required care is not disrupted while also protecting themselves and the patients.
Enhanced support to vulnerable communities
With a number of necessary interventions and control measures in place, there is a direct impact on the economy and livelihoods of people all over. This impact is magnified for the vulnerable and at risk communities. Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation (BDCF), a non-profit organisation in Vietnam, is working with local communities and authorities to ensure early detection of children at risk who need support, and providing support to children and youth whose situations have worsened because of the pandemic. With the help of their early warning system, BDCF is alerted of the potential dangerous situations that these vulnerable groups could be in. These include at risk for human trafficking, children from families in extreme poverty who relies on the schools for nutrition might resort to having to venture away from homes to find jobs and homeless children on the street that are already high risk of exposure. BCFD is adapting its response to be able to cater to this bigger need and mitigate risks.
Servicing through Telehealth
Sehat Kahani, a for profit organisation in Pakistan, through its IT driven solutions, such as an E-clinic has enabled a safer way for patients with suspected COVID-19 symptoms to receive timely professional medical help as well as counselling and preventative measures, while ensuring the safety of the medical professionals along the way. This response solution has also allowed the patients to receive the prescription for medicines on the app as
well as have the option of the medicines be delivered to their doorstep. This prevents the patients to venture out in search of medicine and thereby restraining the patients from exposure to others.
A similar concept is developed by Praava Health, a for-profit organisation in Bangladesh that has developed telehealth services to cater to people that are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. In case of non-emergency situations, patients are encouraged to reach out to doctors virtually and have an online consultation before visiting a health clinic. Through video consultations, doctors will then recommend the next steps. This will help prevent further contamination.
Me.reka Makerspace, a for-profit organisation in Malaysia, has leveraged on their partnerships to activate a relief strategy for the front-liners fighting Covid-19. With a critical shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and more specifically face shields, Me.reka has initiated an open-source collaborative effort to decentralize the production of face shields for front-liners and provide them with the necessary equipment to keep them safe as they fight COVID-19.
WeCare.id, a medical crowdfunding platform in Indonesia has initiated a crowdfunding effort to help raise funds for personal medical protective equipment for COVID-19 medical professionals working in the front lines to fight this pandemic.
These challenging times call on organisations with the ability to innovate, adapt and rethink their working models to provide solutions that meets the immediate needs of the communities. Find out how you can tap into existing collaborative initiatives to pool your resources. If you are an organisation that is working in response to COVID-19, we would love to hear from you by writing to us at [email protected].