The BJP in Uttar Pradesh is setting up a health volunteer force to tackle the impending third wave of Covid-19 in the state.
The volunteers, known as 'Swasthya Sewaks', will be given basic training in Covid management from doctors. They will be provided a kit, essentials like pulse oximeter, medicines and thermometer and a booklet.
The 'Swasthya Sewaks' will essentially be deployed in the rural interiors of the state where the medical infrastructure is comparatively weak.
UP BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh said that the initial batch of nearly 460 young volunteers who had come to Lucknow for training, would now train more volunteers at the district levels.
"All these preparations are being made ahead of the much-talked about third wave. As a responsible party, we have taken this unique initiative to help the people, should the third wave strike," said Singh.
The exercise will apparently help the BJP connect better with the villages which had witnessed widespread grief during the second Covid wave in April and May, though party leaders deny that the initiative has a political reason.
"The exercise to train volunteers will not remain confined to the party. In fact, we would be willing to train other social organizations irrespective of the party affiliation," said a party functionary.
Some health volunteers, however, admitted that along with raising awareness about Covid safeguards, they would also popularise the various efforts made by the Narendra Modi government at the Centre and the Yogi Adityanath government in UP, to help the poor through various schemes and initiatives.
"We are BJP workers from districts so we will also talk about the party and government initiatives," said a health volunteer.
The idea of health volunteers to be posted in villages was first mooted by BJP general secretary (organization) B.L. Santhosh during his visit to the state capital in June.
The BJP also invited Dr Suryakant from King George's Medical University's (KGMU) department of pulmonary medicine to coach the doctors who had come for the training session.
"There were teams of nearly five or more people, including a doctor, from across the districts for the training session in Lucknow. Dr Suryakant interacted with the doctors as well as us. He stressed on the use of certain medicines, their dosage for various age groups and what can instantly be given," said the functionary.
It will be mandatory for the health volunteers to be vaccinated and create awareness about double dose vaccination too.
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