In order to access Comprehensive Primary Health Care (CPHC), under Ayushman Bharat – Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) are being strengthened. The HWCs are to provide preventive, promotive, rehabilitative and curative care for an expanded range of services encompassing reproductive and child health services, communicable diseases, non-communicable diseases, palliative care and elderly care, oral health, ENT care, and basic emergency care. The services in HWCs will be provided through a Mid-level Health Care Provider (MLHP)/Community Health Officer (CHO) placed at the HWC.

A CHO, Dr. Mohan Vashisht posted at HWC Luningakalan in Aspirational District Mewat, Harayna has emerged as a champion during COVID19 for children under 5 years through accurate diagnosis and management of Pneumonia using Multimodal Pulse Oximeter. Trained by Vriddhi team in June 2019 on IMNCI and use of multimodal pulse oximeter, being the only doctor posted in HWC he has been providing care to the community since then.

Till May 2020, 326 children under five years of age with cough for pneumonia has been screened, of which 119 cases of pneumonia and 3 cases of severe pneumonia has been diagnosed. Dr Mohan has been doing home visits for following up of severe pneumonia cases also.

With advent of COVID 19, Vriddhi team provided training on infection prevention and control by maintaining social distancing, use of mask/face cover and handwashing by provider and patients along with guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting the device helped in continuation of services as the HWC was operational on all days including Sundays and holidays. While the footfall of patients reduced during lockdown, Dr Mohan got involved in house to house survey for COVID in the villages in his catchment area.

Dr Vashisht says, “Use of Pulse Oximeter has simplified the process of Pneumonia diagnosis, difference between pneumonia and severe pneumonia among children under 5 years. Screening younger children like below 2 or 6 months was even more challenging and was being avoided, but now with ease of screening it is being done habitually. Proper management of Pneumonia has also improved trust among the communities thus increasing the number of OPDs. This device has immensely helped during COVID times; if a child is found pneumonia positive with fever has been referred on time for COVID testing and further treatment. I am thankful to USAID Vriddhi team for this device and the training on the same.”