Building on an ad hoc Covid-19 response to enhance community-based care for vulnerable children in Kerala, India
Geeta Madathil Govindaraj; Padinharath Krishnakumar; Vinod Scaria (et al.)
Published: November 2020
Journal: NEJM Catalyst Innovations in Care Delivery
The Covid-19–related lockdowns resulted in disruptions of care for children with inborn errors of immunity, who, without access to travel, would be unable to continue immunoglobulin replacement. A community-based care program through pediatricians in state-run peripheral hospitals has been initiated. The police network, which was already actively involved in Covid-19 prevention, helped transport essential medicines from the tertiary care center. Two months later, a virtual focus group discussions with the mothers was conducted to understand their experiences, identify possible gaps in care, and explore suggestions for improvement. Although the community-based care and subsequent virtual focus group discussions were instituted as a temporary measure to ensure continuity of care, it has been found that it is effective, feasible, and acceptable. Hence, it has been decided to continue the program even beyond the pandemic. This model of care can be extended to other chronic illnesses as well as to rare diseases in resource-constrained settings.