Delhi, Nov 18
NITI Aayog on Thursday released Home-Based Management of Covid-19, a compendium of best practices adopted by states to combat the pandemic.
The report was launched by NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Dr Rajiv Kumar, Member (Health) Dr Vinod K. Paul, CEO Amitabh Kant, and Additional Secretary Dr Rakesh Sarwal.
The compendium presents a holistic picture of various home-based care models adopted by the states and summarizes basic principles and practical recommendations. Several of these successful strategies can be replicated and scaled up.
Over the past two years, the country has been facing an unprecedented public health crisis in the form of Covid-19. Since the onset of the pandemic, state governments have responded with various innovative measures to contain the spread of the virus. The changing dynamics of the Covid-19 infection called for early identification, remote monitoring, and appropriate referral mechanism to reduce the number of severe cases and deaths. This led to the formulation of a ‘home-based care model for Covid-19’.
Why Home-Based Care?
Home-based care is a low-cost model and can reach many people at the same time with the help of digital tools such as telemedicine/call centres/apps, etc. It emerged as an important pillar of pandemic management. Various home-care best practices included in this document provided holistic support to patients and their families.
However, there could be some limitations if all services are not connected and integrated at all levels and if there are delays in referrals, transportation, and admissions. There is a risk of the spread of infection to family members if protocols are not followed properly. Clear standard operating procedures and triaging are therefore extremely critical for efficient home care. Hospitalization should be accessible at well-functioning referral facilities.
The integrated command and facilitation centres should be flexible, adaptable, and resilient for use in Covid-19, and adaptable non-Covid related services in a quiescent pandemic situation.
Community engagement and management have contributed to the large-scale take-up of home-based care. Local efforts are essential for better case management and for reducing fear and stigma. Community preparedness can help in ensuring that no one is left behind. The practices on home-based care described in this compendium may be adopted, adapted, and replicated by the states/UTs for scale-up in respective contexts, building on their experiences.
It is hoped that the compendium will provide strategic direction to decision-makers for designing sustainable healthcare models at the national and sub-national levels.