Why community health workers are so crucial
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Rupoda is a community health worker based out of the Borhola Vision Centre in the Indian state of Assam. Over the last four years she has been educating her community about eye health and referring those who need follow-up care to the vision centre. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has hindered eye health activities in Assam, Rupoda continues to actively and safely support her community.

In partnership with the Chandraprabha Eye Hospital, Operation Eyesight has been assembling and distributing hygiene kits to vulnerable and marginalized families. Rupoda used her knowledge of her community to identify the families that would benefit the most from these hygiene kits. To date, Rupoda has personally distributed 300 hygiene kits in thirteen villages, which provides increased sanitation opportunities to over 1,500 people.

Rupoda distributing a hygiene kit to a vulnerable family.

Due to a lack of transportation services during the lockdown in India, Rupoda travels approximately 10 kilometres a day on foot to distribute these hygiene kits. She also conducts socially-distanced health awareness sessions on COVID-19. The topics she covers include hand hygiene, social distancing and mask handling to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Rupoda demonstrating proper hand washing techniques

Rupoda says that she feels grateful that she is able to support her community during these challenging times. “I’m happy that I’m able to help the poor families of my project area by giving them the hygiene kits and education on coronavirus. I’m grateful to my hospital and Operation Eyesight for giving me this opportunity to serve my people of Assam.”