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PFI's response to COVID 19 pandemic

Posted on June 22, 2020

Population Foundation of India has responded to the COVID 19 crisis in India by providing relief grants, driving awareness campaigns and continuing to emphasise on the reproductive health needs of women and girls. Our work over the past few months has been in the following areas:

1. Population Foundation of India, in collaboration, with Facebook is the content partner for Government of India MyGov page for creating the content strategy, messaging and creatives around COVID-19 tailored for Facebook, Whats App and Instagram platforms. This partnership includes:

a. Developing content, collation, authentication and messaging strategy on COVID-19; b. Constitute a system for research and verifying up to date content, using a technical advisory group to ensure that medical/technical messaging is accurate. c. Using tools for tracking of media reports and data around COVID-19 on a daily basis so as to ensure that information provided on the platforms is updated. d. Review sentiment analysis and Facebook analytics to target posts and tackle misinformation for more effective communication. e. Ensuring that engaging and informative content is developed in English, Hindi and 8 regional languages to provide people with updated, reliable and verified content on a regular basis using social media platforms and tools. f. As part of the MyGov initiative, PFI has made short fims highlighting the efforts made by the states of Odisha, Kerala, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand in tackling COVID-19, on the request of the respective state governments. Kerala Uttarakhand Odisha Jharkhand

2. PFI conceptualized and created a short film on female healthcare workers at the forefront of COVID-19. The video was also published on Government of India’s MyGov Facebook page and has become one of their top performing posts with over 4.6 million within 24 hours. Link to the film:Hindi Version, English Version

3. In accordance with the current mandate of the Stigma & Discrimination campaign under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), PFI, in collaboration with renowned theatre and film director Feroz Abbas Khan, has developed short animation films (90 seconds or less) using humour and an entertainment education format to address the issue of stigma against healthcare workers and COVID-19 patients in a sensitive and appropriate manner. Hasya Kavi Potliwala is a short animation film featuring a poet who recites a short “kavita” addressing stigma against COVID-19 patients.

4. PFI has conceived the Corona Ki Adalat animation series in collaboration with Mr Feroz Abbas Khan, that uses the familiar setting of a courtroom drama to disseminate key messages, tackle misinformation and reinforce a sense of solidarity around the fight against COVID-19. The five episode series aims to address issues around stigma and discrimination, personal protection, physical distancing and mental health.

5. PFI has also developed and is disseminating short informative video clips to promote condom use in family planning. Some of them include: Khel khel mein, Satya Ki Adalat (Condom baba), Condom baba ka dhaba, Condom rap. These clips will enable promotion of condom usage as a dual strategy for both contraception and disease protection.

6. Partnerships with State Governments and NGOs. To ensure that materials being developed are as widely shared as possible PFI is also working directly with state governments, MoHFW and civil society organizations to share materials in Hindi, English and regional languages for their use. All the materials being developed under the Facebook partnership are disseminated widely through NGOs to ensure maximum reach. a. Our teams are coordinating closely with the Mission Directors, State Nodal Officers- Community Processes and IEC of 37 States & Uts to support further disseminating our materials across around 150 districts. b. We shared the communication materials with civil society organizations as well as network and coalitions including ARC (Advocating Reproductive Choices) which has 167 members. We received positive responses from many organizations asking us to share more materials so that they can disseminate them among their partners and networks.

7. PFI is collecting feedback and inputs from state and district nodal officers to track the COVID-19 response of health departments, initiatives being taken by ASHAs and Village Health Sanitation and Nutrition Committees (VHSNCs) and MahilaArogyaSamities(MASs) . PFI is also tracking the health department’s responses to critical issues and challenges faced by communities as well as services providers.

8. PFI is supporting state governments to make modifications to their Programme Implementation Plans (PIPs) to prioritize resources for COVID-19, especially for community action.

9. PFI is supporting the State Health Society Bihar (SHSB), Government of Bihar in undertaking regular data analytics as well as developing communication materials on COVID-19

10. In Bihar, our field partners are working closely with district officials and providing support in managing the block control rooms; following up individual cases and households requiring immediate assistance; monitoring functioning of community kitchens to ensure the most needy get their meals regularly; and communication and regular support to VHSNCs in Darbhanga and Nawada districts.

11. Population Foundation of India is a technical partner in an initiative called ''Parliamentarians with Innovators for India'', which aims to mobilize capable teams across India to build concrete and scalable solutions for COVID-19 towards challenges in public health, economy, livelihoods, and other important areas. The group includes 14 parliamentarians, partners from venture capital funds, organizations and experts working on health and public policy.

12. PFI is making small grants in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Delhi and Jharkhand to organizations active in addressing poor and marginalized communities’ immediate needs (cooked food, ration, masks and sanitary supplies) in the field and quarantine centresduring the COVID-19 crisis.

13. PFI is convening and coordinating with civil society organizations (CSOs), including social marketing organizations (SMOs) working on reproductive health and family planning to identify a consolidated approach to ensure that information and services continue to reach clients.

14. PFI, along with its NGO partners strategically engaged with Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India leading to the inclusion of family planning in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India (MoHFW) guidelines as essential health services.

15. PFI has made efforts to generate evidence on impact of Covid 19. PFI commissioned a study in five states (UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Odisha) to assess the impact of Covid 19 on availability of services and commodities in public health facilities and outreach and work of front line workers.

16. PFI conducted a telephonic rapid assessment with adolescents and youths in three states (Rajasthan, UP and Bihar) to understand the level of knowledge, attitude and practices with regard to COVID-19 and how it is impacting them.

17. In order to ensure an informed discourse on the impact of COVID-19 and the subsequent response of the public health system, PFI has consistently engaged with the media through interviews as well as opinion editorials.


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