Outbreak of COVID-19 and suspension of all the trainings, meeting or activities involving gatherings, lead to challenges in implementation of FPC. Suspension of FPC sessions created a sense of worry and concern among the staff nurses (Covid Warriors) posted in the SNCUs who continued saving lives of small and sick newborns by conducting FPC sessions; involving parents and making them learn skills of handling low-birth weight babies at the hospital and after discharge at home.
USAID-Vriddhi team in discussion with Dr. Inderdeep (Program Officer, Maternal & Child Health) decided to continue Family Participatory Care (FPC) sessions in order to mitigate the risk of mortality and morbidity arising out of prematurity and LBW status of sick newborns admitted in the SNCU. All SNCUs were informed regarding the continuation of FPC sessions with some process adaptation. SNCUs were advised that during FPC sessions social distancing, hygiene (respiratory & hand) and compliance of government order for any type of gathering should be maintained.
Simran, a staff nurse who has been actively engaged in FPC sessions implementation at SNCU Ferozepur expressed her happiness and joy of facilitating this session with Vriddhi team.
She believes that FPC sessions are critical element in survival of sick & low birth weight newborns
She says, “planning of FPC session is actually need based, need of saving a life at risk”.
She also suggested that they are using videos on hand washing as well as posters of FPC for facilitating sessions. To combat with COVID-19, she along with her team is following social distancing, hygiene (Hand and Respiratory) and following instruction of Punjab government for social gathering and also, they are using videos as well as posters of FPC for facilitating the session. Similar thoughts were reflected in conversation with staff nurse Jasveer posted at SNCU Moga.
She says, “FPC has multiple effects, during the session mothers are taught about techniques of breastfeeding in addition to hand washing, an essential to mitigate infection”
Staff nurse Simran and Jasveer proved themselves as the brave hearts at the frontline risking their own life to save critical lives inspired other frontline workers posted at the SNCUs which resumed FPC sessions at other facilities as well.