Kohima | January 15
Help Nagaland Breathe (HNB), a voluntary response team, today shared its report on the activities carried out in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Nagaland, at the conclusion of its campaign.
In releasing the report at the press conference at Alder Retreat, Kohima today, the team said COVID-19 has fundamentally changed lives.
“In Nagaland, we have lost the lives of so many near and dear people. Although the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths may be low compared to other states in India, the impending shocks of the pandemic will continue to impact Nagaland’s health system, which could turn into a social and economic emergency,” the report said.
In April 2021, HNB, a COVID-19 Campaign, Voluntary Response Team was launched. He ultimately assessed that Nagaland’s health system needed greater testing, protection and treatment capabilities.
“Without any mitigation, local health care capacities will be greatly overwhelmed by the wave of COVID-19. So, with a few friends, we wanted to help health centers and support the ongoing work of government, churches, aid agencies, NGOs and international organizations,” the report says.
What began as a one-off relief campaign has garnered support from over 15 Indian and overseas donors, over 35 volunteers based in India, the US, UK, Ireland, Spain and in Vietnam and medical supplies distributed to hospitals in Nagaland district, CIHSR, NHAK, CHC, PHC in the 12 districts of Nagaland.
HNB’s work has been amplified by commitments from key partners and grassroots donors globally.
Pro-Rural handled all fundraising for Help Nagaland Breathe and YouthNet supported ground logistics in Nagaland. Other supporters include Global Shapers Seattle Hub, Kohima Hub, Goonj, New Delhi and India Covid SOS, USA.
HNB operated from May to November 2021. From fundraising and financial management, to ensuring legal compliance, conducting research and overseeing the supply chain of all medical supplies, the teams have streamlined all work virtually across different time zones.
“We are sharing this report to thank all of our donors and partners, the immense contributions made to the people of Nagaland, to track the medical supplies sent to each health center in Nagaland, to celebrate the contributors of our Milaap fundraising campaign and for the volunteers, for the hours spent in this voluntary relief operation. We share our work structures and functions in the hope that it can help other humanitarian and volunteer groups,” said HNB Core Member Limabenla Jamir.
Nagaland has had ‘difficult times’
The HNB report said that just like the rest of the world, Nagaland is still going through difficult times due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first two waves approached gradually but had a catastrophic impact on people’s lives, threatening livelihoods and bringing the state to its knees with limited resources and manpower to manage this health emergency, a he declared.
The difficult context, given its geographical location, sparse and dispersed population and the unavailability of necessary infrastructure, made it an even more complex situation as the pandemic spread rapidly throughout the state.
At the end of the first wave, Nagaland recorded more than 12,000 positive cases with 78 deaths, with a mortality rate of 0.65%.
While this number may seem relatively lower than other states in the country, the context of the region makes it important as it has become a matter of accessibility and preparedness to deal with it, the report points out.
He informed that as essential equipment such as oxygen concentrators, PPE kits, oxygen cylinders and medicines continued to run out, desperation for both healthcare workers and citizens, continued to increase with the fear of an imminent second wave.
The HNB team said the second wave has devastated India, becoming one of the worst affected in the world, even with ongoing vaccinations. Health systems have been overwhelmed and the number of deaths has steadily increased over the weeks.
It wasn’t long before the wave reached Nagaland far and wide, posing, yet again, an indomitable threat as the state still grappled with the aftermath of the first wave. By the end of the second wave, Nagaland saw cases soar to more than 32,000 and more than 700 deaths, reaching rural villages where access to proper COVID-19 care was hours away, he said. he declares.
Between the first and second waves, HNB was formed as a collective of young Naga professionals and students from around the world to help fill gaps in health care delivery systems as the threat of the second wave began to loom. on the state.
By pooling the resources of a broader network of individuals, organizations, philanthropies and foundations working in COVID-19 relief in other parts of the country and overseas, Help Nagaland Breathe was able to provide assistance in the form of medical supplies to all districts with state support. and district administration.
In its year-long campaign, HNB said it achieved more than it initially imagined, reaching those most in need and bolstering healthcare facilities with the equipment needed to deal with first-line emergencies. intervention.
The team was supported by other groups working in COVID-19 relief, supporters, international aid organizations and local NGOs.
It has assisted Nagaland’s COVID-19 care centers by providing necessary equipment and aid to mitigate the impact of the pandemic in Nagaland.
Campaign efforts included the purchase and distribution of medical supplies, including but not limited to home care kits, oxygen concentrators, BIPAPS/CPAPS, oxygen cylinders, pulse oximeters, PPE kits.
These were distributed through three channels – directly to verified hospitals, to government and through verified NGOs on the ground,
Humanitarian Aid – Food supply support through verified NGOs for families below the poverty line who have been affected by the COVID crisis and the loss of primary breadwinners was another area of focus, as well as the providing meals and ration kits to families in need.