When the second wave of COVID spread throughout India in March 2021 SATHI mobilized patient advocates in the urban areas of Pune, set up telephone helplines as well as helpdesks in rural hospitals in 22 blocks in Maharashtra. AID supported the training and ongoing presence of helpdesk staff and patient advocates, who ensured that people could readily access accurate information and treatment as indicated.
In July AID asked SATHI coordinators to share their experiences. Volunteers heard how the helpdesks worked on the ground, how they saved lives and what kind of systematic gaps they documented along the way.
Shakuntala Savita coordinates SATHI’s Patient rights initiative to ensure health services reach the poorest patients, working with nonprofits and the urban health system to ensure services reach those most in need.