Long before the second wave shocked us into awareness about the gaps in our healthcare infrastructure, US-based start-up Noora Health had recognised and committed to rectifying the same.
While the pandemic has had disastrous consequences for people across the globe, the rural poor and other marginalised groups have been impacted the most. Since March 2020, lack of awareness, inadequate target messaging and inequitable access to quality healthcare has set the ball rolling for a series of “mysterious deaths” in remote villages across India. This is where Noora Health’s Care Companion Program steps in.
What is the Care Companion Program model?
Established by four Stanford graduates in 2014, Noora Health primarily operates out of Bangalore in India.
Their USP? Training family caregivers and equipping them with the skills required for the post hospitalisation care of patients at home. They essentially recast family members as formal caregivers, thereby reducing the burden on the healthcare system bit by bit. The training sessions take place in classroom settings as well as hospital lobbies where the patients’ families wait.
To date, Noora Health has partnered with over 160 hospitals across India and some in Bangladesh as well. In aspiring to make quality healthcare more accessible, they have mostly collaborated with government-run hospitals and public facilities. The platform is an advocate of telemedicine, and hence training and caregiver counselling sessions are also offered through Whatsapp and IVRs. Their trainers are fluent in 11 regional languages including Hindi, Punjabi, Kannada, Marathi, Malayalam, Telugu, and Bengali. In fact, all of their informative content and resources are available in these languages.
Noora Health’s key areas of operation include maternal and newborn care, general medicine and surgical care, cardiac care, and oncology care. They take pride in their interactive, skill-based learning model that transforms a family’s hospital visit into an insightful experience. They believe that the training they offer helps replace a family caregiver’s anxiety with competency and significantly cuts down on hospital re-admissions.
Noora Health’s Covid-19 response
Most recently, Noora Health has expanded its efforts to offer assistance with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. In striving to enable inclusive healthcare, they took on the challenge of educating underserved communities about Covid-appropriate behaviour and disease management norms. So far, they have been reaching out to 2,000 Covid-19 positive households daily to offer caregiver counselling and support.
We are creating medically accurate materials in local languages for families managing COVID19 at home in India – nutrition, proning, medications, monitoring, oximeter usage, etc. We'll also be reaching them via partners' helplines/WhatsApp to support with questions. #CovidIndia
— Noora Health (@NooraHealth) April 28, 2021
Moreover, Noora Health has been supporting a network of NGOs and offering training to front line staff in rural areas. In response to the severe shortage in resources during the second wave, they have also distributed 200 oxygen concentrators and health kits in underdeveloped regions. Lastly, they regularly share updated content with information on Covid-19 management, vaccines, and more, on their social media channels.
Caregiving is an exceptionally demanding task and can take a severe toll on one’s mental health. The situation is exacerbated when family members step into the role with limited knowledge and resources. In identifying these gaps, Noora Health has undoubtedly set the stage for revolutionising access to quality caregiving and healthcare support.
To know more about their work and contribute to their efforts, check out their website.
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