‘Jan Andolan’ against Covid-19 gains traction in Ayush sector

New Delhi, Oct 31 (IANS) As thousands of Ayush (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) professionals on Saturday joined the ‘Jan Andolan’ (mass movement) against the Covid-19 pandemic, the movement gained traction in the traditional systems of medicine.
The movement covers Ayush dispensaries, hospitals, educational institutions, wellness centres and other units. Ayush professionals work closely with the public at the grassroots level and are therefore successful in providing momentum to the awareness campaign influencing public behavior.
During a five-day review from October 26-30 at the Ayush Ministry, Ayush stakeholders reached out to nearly 110 lakh people with messages propounding Covid-appropriate behavior through face-to-face communication to digital media.
The ongoing festive season poses public health challenges as people tend to abandon caution in the spirit of the festivals, increasing the risk of the spread of the virus. The interventions by Ayush professionals will add to the efforts encouraging people across the country to adopt coronavirus-appropriate behavior.
The partnerships forged by the Ministry of Ayush through its attached and subordinate offices with the private sector industry and academia have been successful in roping in many stakeholders into this activity.
Ayush Directorates in states and Union Territories (UTs) with Ayush dispensaries supported by the National Ayush Mission of the Ayush Ministry have together served as a major network for spreading instant behavioral change communication. The Health Secretaries of many states and UTs have initiated campaigns aligned with these messages.
The different Ayush units (Ayush dispensaries, hospitals, educational institutions, etc.) together put up nearly 5,000 posters and 8,000 banners with customised messages at different institutions in various states and UTs during the five-day period.
These included Covid awareness messages such as “wearing masks, washing hands and maintaining social-distancing” as well as targeted messages on Ayush immunity practices and relevant yoga asanas.
The five-day period saw nearly 200 newspaper articles being published and 300 print advertisements issued due to the efforts of Ayush stakeholders. As part of the patient-education efforts, nearly 3 lakh pamphlets and brochures were distributed.
A few institutions also displayed e-newsletters. The network of nearly 750 Ayush medical colleges with their communities of students and teachers has been active in this effort.
The five-day period also saw the Ayush institutions sending out nearly 200 social media messages on the subject collectively reaching nearly five lakh people.
Talks and news items on health awareness and Covid-appropriate behavior were telecast on TV and radio on 78 occasions during the five-day period. Thousands of people were reached through different webinars organised on the subject by Ayush institutions.
Some institutions took up high-value promotional activities like distribution of medicinal plants, Ayur Raksha kits, masks and prophylactic medicines.
Nearly nine lakh beneficiaries received these in different states. Demonstrations to OPD patients and inhabitants of ‘Ayush Gram’s regarding the way to wear masks properly, method of hand-washing and appropriate food habits to strengthen immunity were held at multiple places and keenly attended.
A few institutions organised lectures on topics related to appropriate ways of conducting oneself at crowded places.
The other activities included awareness camps, workshops, lectures, pledge-taking, Yoga demonstrations and health camps.

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