BENGALURU: The Health and Family Welfare Department (HFW) has started a new campaign, “Anti-stigma and Discrimination”, to tackle the Covid-related stigma faced by healthcare workers. The department has trained 300 healthcare professionals across the state, who will in turn train other frontline workers.
The first set of trained professionals include psychiatrists, mental health programme officers and doctors at district primary health centres. They will train other health workers, government employees, education department staff, police personnel, Asha and Anganwadi workers and healthcare staff.
Dr Rajani M H, Deputy Director, Mental Health, HFW Department, revealed two incidents where healthcare workers were stigmatised. “A staff nurse, who was working at a government hospital, was told not to enter the house by her mother-in-law because she worked in a Covid ward.
The mother-in-law told the nurse that if she came in close contact with other family members, she could infect them. In another incident, a 50-year-old woman Group D staffer, who is in a joint family, was asked to leave the house or to remain locked up in a room the entire day.
Such incidents make this campaign necessary.” The mental health professionals will have to submit a report to the HFW Department in the next 15 days as to how many people they have trained. “The reports will be checked and districts that have low numbers will be asked to train more. Even recovered Covid patients will be trained,” she said. “We need to support each other. The myth of ‘I will never become corona positive’ should be busted,” she said.