Initiative: Community Based Testing
Marginalized communities in urban slums today face a double burden of disease; the threat of COVID19 and preventable complications from pre-existing chronic conditions. To counter this and prevent COVID outbreaks in the most vulnerable communities, we are taking healthcare to their doorstep. Community based screening will be rolled out in areas where there is high risk of COVID outbreak due to poor sanitation facilities and overcrowding, targeting slum settlements in Mumbai. Screening and primary care for common pre-existing conditions will also be layered onto the COVID screening work to reduce morbidity and mortality from avoidable complications. Those at risk of COVID will receive sample collection at or near point of care and results will be returned with short turn around times. A lab within a community clinic will be refurbished to provide both antigen and PCR tests. A comprehensive package of care including counselling and referral support will be provided to infected individuals and family members. These efforts will lean on engaging trusted community mobilizers to generate demand. Active and persistent screening coupled with compassionate care that meets community needs will ensure early detection, inturn breaking the transmission chain and preventing large outbreaks in these communities. This program is being piloted in Maharashtra and will be looking for partners to scale.