There has been a major paradigm shift across health-care institutions with concerns about their capacity to handle patients with varied illnesses ever since the onset of COVID-19. Patients with lower immunities are at a huge risk of being infected by this virus. Cancer-patients from underprivileged backgrounds are at even higher risks of contracting this disease. In light of this situation, we at Sanjeevani… Life beyond Cancer have begun our own Tele-Counselling sessions to address the fear and anxiety among our patients and their families, and further support them in not giving up hope on their treatments altogether. Listen in as our founder, Ruby Ahluwalia tells us more about the idea behind the initiative and the purpose .
What steps are being taken by Sanjeevani to allay the fears of cancer-patients?
The vulnerability of cancer-patients to COVID-19 requires them to take a number of special precautions. With most OPDs in cancer hospitals being curtailed, the treatment plans for many patients have witnessed unforeseen changes. Which is why, we aim to educate them on ways to deal with the uncertainties of the resultant lockdown due to their inaccessibility to doctors and professional medical care.
1. Sanjeevani has created two dedicated helplines (operating from 9 AM to 6 PM) for reaching out to patients and hand-holding them through their concerns.
2. As of today, we reach out to more than 700 patients per day and inform them about the importance of social distancing while also imparting knowledge about methods to boost their immunity.
These tele-counselling sessions bring in a plethora of advantages along with them. Though it began in the context of lockdown restrictions brought about by COVID-19, these sessions now offer patients the freedom to chart their own schedules and thus have flexibility in their appointments. It allows them the freedom of conversing from the comfort of their own homes, which in many situations has proven to be beneficial for patients who take a longer time to open up owing to unfamiliar environments. Furthermore, the reluctance to avail counselling due to socio-cultural reasons is highly reduced as the patient no longer needs to go out of their way to ask for help. With the act of calling being a more private and confidential activity, the patient is encouraged to let go of their inhibitions and be more open about their feelings.
So far, the tele-counselling sessions done in 2020 between March 23 to April 26 across India have touched the lives of over 13,800 patients.