On 30 March, PMI Kerala Chapter, with the support of Dr. Sreejith R., consultant pediatrician and honorary secretary, Indian Medical Association, Thiruvananthapuram, released an educational video of his talk on COVID-19 on YouTube.

The chapter, in association with Pallium India, also came forward to support patients with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, and dialysis care post kidney operation who were suffering due to the lockdown. The program, PMIK- Kavach, was launched with around 75 volunteers from the chapter, Pallium India, Red Cross Society, and Signature of Nishagandhi.

Pallium India founder and chairman, and Padma Shri awardee, Dr. M R Rajagopal, briefed the volunteers about the objective of this initiative and provided them guidelines. Separate volunteer teams were set up to the manage the call center, assess and direct requests from the call center to the administrative team, coordinate and undertake site visits, including buying medicine and helping with laboratory tests. The chapter organized government approvals for volunteers to move around during the lockdown. Clinical and medical support to the needy was offered free of cost.

The chapter’s technology partner, TravelSPoC, supported in the development of an application to track the progress on the requests that volunteers were receiving from patients. The team followed an agile process for project execution with daily morning briefings. The patients, volunteers, and their activities were tracked using a Kanban board in the system, which made it easy to manage and monitor volunteer activities. The tool was able to track the requests raised by the patients, assign a volunteer according to a patient’s location, and ensure the right support was given. The admin team, comprising Pallium and PMI Kerala Chapter senior leaders, had access to reports on the status of patient requests and volunteer tasks.

As many as 28 requests for medical supplies and 12 clinical supports were completed in the first week. By mid-May, over 270 patients received help with medical supplies and laboratory tests. The supporting organizations have expressed their willingness to now expand the program to other parts of Kerala.

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