Liver Foundation, West Bengal

aspire to take science to society

Covid Care Centre

 

TOTAL EIGHT FIELD HOSPITALS BEING RUN BY LIVER FOUNDATION, West Bengal

Initiated on

18.05.21 at Nagari & Labpur (Birbhum)

21.05.21 at Sainthia (Birbhum)

20.05.21 at Lakurdi (Purba Burdwan)

22.05.21 at Siliguri (Darjeeling)

31.05.21 at Taki (North 24 parganas)

12.06.21 at Dayapur, Gosaba (South 24 Parganas)

14.06.21 at Ailakandi (Bankura)

19.07.21 at Jhilimili (Bankura)

 

                                                                                        COVID CARE FIELD HOSPITALS IN WEST BENGAL

                                                                               Liver Foundation, West Bengal and Covid care Network initiative

 

Background

India is in the midst of a large upsurge in Covid-19 cases that has left many patients deprived of basic life support, hospital beds and oxygen. The state of West Bengal has—thus far—managed to avoid critical shortages due to advanced planning for the cities and urban areas, but it is likely only a matter of time before even the increased capacity that has been built up in the last 3 months will be overwhelmed: The current positivity rate, defined as the fraction positive of all cases tested, is 30%. This compares to a usual definition of moderate level of risk at 2-3%. We expect these cases to rise further and potential peak in the next 6-8 weeks, although the timing remains uncertain. Part of the reason for this expectation is that elections in West Bengal have just concluded, and the effects of these elections (which effectively prevented the government from implementing lockdown measures) will play out over the next month.

Through our work on Covid-19, both as part of West Bengal’s Global Advisory Board and our own presence in multiple districts around the state, we make the following additional observations about the surge in West Bengal:

1.      The problem in rural areas of the state may be particularly worrisome because the combination of less accessible testing facilities and hospitals implies that many people are accessing care only once the disease is in its advanced stage.

2.      At advanced stages, outcomes are likely to deteriorate as oxygen is scarce and many households in upper income groups have stockpiled oxygen cylinders (which is of no value if desaturation happens).

3.      During the first surge, we noticed that many patients chose to travel to Kolkata and other urban centers rather than visit healthcare facilities closer to their homes. This both delayed care and further spread the infection through travel.

 

Solution

LFWB setting  up multiple Field Hospitals in peripheral regions of the state that will dramatically increase accessibility and provide care to Covid-19 patients in the rural areas of the state. This will both improve the management of the illness at its earlier stages, that is, between home-based care and hospitalization and, by doing so, it can decrease the patient load on hospital beds, which can then be reserved for those who need it the most.

Our solution is guided by the previous experience of surge management around the world combined with our deep contextual knowledge of rural healthcare availability in West Bengal coupled with our belief in evidence-based policy.

These Field Hospitals are temporary facilities designed to provide care for Covid-19 patients in proximity to the community. The facilities at these field hospitals will allow us to stabilize moderately infected patients, who can then be triaged to a central facility if necessary, once a bed is available. Through this strategy, the field hospitals will both avert deaths and decrease the patient load in the central facilities.

At the same time, we wish to be very honest about what the field hospitals can achieve. The care at field hospitals will ascribe to the highest ethical standards and scientific knowledge, but we have to acknowledge that these will never become institutions that can provide top-of-the-line care. Specifically, the field hospitals will have the following basic Covid care arrangements.

The Liver Foundation, West Bengal is West Bengal’s premier NGO working in public health and human development areas since 2006. In addition to our public health work with rural healthcare providers and the building of a surveillance system in Birbhum, we also developed the Indian Institute of Liver and Digestive Sciences (www.iilds.in) in 2016 . IILDS has been operating as a covid care facility over the last year. We work in close association and overlap with Covid care network(www.covidcarenetwork.org) – a NGO that had been carrying out community linked services, helpline, supplies and almost every potentially area that serves people with Covid.

With Generosity of 

Association for India's Development
BSE Limited
Bandhan
SBI Foundation
West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation 
Cipla Foundation
& Many other Individuals