USAID-NISHTHA and IAPSM Launch Supplemental Home Isolation Guidelines for Vulnerable Populations


Delhi, February 19,2022: Today NISHTHA, a health system strengthening project supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Jhpiego, and the Indian Association for Preventive and Social Medicine (IAPSM), a non-profit organization of epidemiologists, launched new home isolation guidelines for vulnerable and marginalized groups in India.

Marginalized and vulnerable groups such as the urban poor, tribal populations, pregnant and lactating women, children, people with mental illnesses, persons with disabilities, and the LGBTQIA+ community have traditionally faced an inequitable distribution of health services and resources. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated these differences, leaving these groups all the more vulnerable. 

The new guidelines supplement the existing Government of India home isolation guidelines and provide additional insights on home isolation and management, and highlight best practices to provide quality services for vulnerable populations. This support builds on the long history of the U.S.-India collaboration in the health sector and highlights USAID's efforts to partner with the Government of India and key stakeholders to strengthen India’s health system and COVID-19 response capacity, particularly for the most vulnerable.

Highlighting the need for the guidelines, Dr. Bulbul Sood, Senior Strategic Advisor, Jhpiego, said, “Given that the pandemic has impacted the vulnerable and marginalized groups disproportionately, it is important to contextualize COVID-19 management strategies for these groups to ensure no one is left behind. These guidelines were developed through a consultative process by active engagement of thematic experts through a series of webinars and roundtable conferences.”

Dr. Suneela Garg, National President, IAPSM and Organized Medicine Academic Guild (OMAG), further stated “The guidelines developed in partnership with USAID-NISHTHA highlight the various home-based care practices that can be adopted for these vulnerable populations in ensuring better home management of COVID-19 for vulnerable populations and providing decentralized care. We are hopeful that these guidelines will help other partners and implementing organizations in ensuring effective delivery of home-based care for these vulnerable populations, thereby ensuring that no one is left behind.” 

The new guidelines launched today were developed by USAID-NISHTHA/Jhpiego and IAPSM, in consultation with Government, private sector, and civil society experts.  The broad consultation process included Dr. Suneela Garg, National President, IAPSM and the Organized Medicine Academic Guild (OMAG), Dr. Bulbul Sood, Senior Strategic Advisor, Jhpiego, Dr. Chandrakant Lahariya, Public Policy and Health Systems Expert, New Delhi, Dr. Swati Mahajan, Chief of Party, NISHTHA/Program Director, Jhpiego, Maj Gen (Prof) Atul Kotwal, Executive Director, National Health Systems Resource Centre (NHSRC), New Delhi; Dr A M Kadri, Executive Director, State Health Systems Resource Centre, Gujarat, Secretary General, IAPSM; Dr T Sundararaman, Independent Consultant, Puducherry, India, Former, ED, NHSRC, New Delhi; Dr Abhay Bang, Founder, Director, Society for Education, Action and Research in Community Health (SEARCH), Maharashtra; Dr Sanjana Mohan, Director (Nutrition), Basic Healthcare Services, Udaipur, Rajasthan; Ms Mirai Chatterjee, Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), Ahmedabad, Gujarat; Dr Vaishali Kolhe, Assistant Professor, Centre for Disability Studies and Action, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, Maharashtra; Dr Basavaraju, Executive Director, Grassroots Research and Advocacy Movement (GRAAM), Karnataka; Dr Yogesh Jain, Founding Member, Sangwari, Chhattisgarh; Dr Kishore Kumar, The Banyan, Chennai; Dr Santosh Kumar Giri, Executive Director, Kolkata Rista, Kolkata; Mr Amulya Nidhi, Founder, Co-convener, Swasthya Adhikar Manch, Madhya Pradesh and other public health and domain experts.

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