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Deccan Herald

Collaborative efforts to set up child-friendly COVID care centers

One of the suggestions made by doctors and public health experts to tackle the potential third Covid wave is to ramp up paediatric care facilities for children across the state.

After multiple media reports of children left orphaned by the pandemic, the Women and Child Development Minister Shashikala Jolle on May 18 announced the setting up of Covid care centres in each of the districts, in addition to a rehabilitation plan for children who have lost their parents to Covid-19.

Mohan Raj, the nodal officer appointed to take care of the orphaned children, said two cases of children losing both parents to COVID had been reported in the state so far -- from Mandya and Chamarajnagar respectively.

He also said that various other measures, including pediatric units at district hospitals, COVID care centres and quarantine centres would be implemented within a month.

In Bengaluru's K.R. Puram, a couple of NGO's along with city-based private hospitals, have already gone ahead and set up a 75-bed COVID-care centre for children with plants to scale up operations at five more locations.

Speaking about the need for Covid care centres, Fr Edward, a director of Dream India Network, one of the organisations implementing the initiative, said that since most hospitals are not meant exclusively for children, they are not happy there.

At the CCC in K R Puram, which is set up under the supervision of the Child Welfare Committee and Health Department, provisions have been made to stock oxygen concentrators, with doctors and nurses on call to take care of Covid-positive children.

The CCC has also linked up with the Rainbow and Motherhood hospitals to treat any serious cases.

While the CCCs set up by the Dream India Network are geared towards easing the stress on shelter homes and child care institutions in the city, Fr Edward said that “Any child who is affected by Covid and needs quality education and a family atmosphere, will be offered a bed.”

“There is a process under the JJ Act to declare any organisation or any institution a 'fit institution' to provide care for children. These Covid care centres in Bengaluru have been declared a fit institution under that process,” says Uma Mahadevan Dasgupta, the Principal Secretary of the Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Department and the Nodal officer for Civil society, NGOs and corporate partnerships to tackle COVID.

"The centres have been set up in Bengaluru because of the high number of cases here. We have a network of civil society organisations and NGOs working in partnership with us in Bengaluru and across the state. As and when the need arises, we will be able to quickly take action," Uma said.


Reach Lives has partnered with Bangalore Food Bank to bring nutritional support to children in need at COVID centers and at all long-term rehabilitation homes in Bengaluru. Reach Lives has also established 2 long-term rehabilitation homes in Indiranagar and Whitefield for children with mental and physical disabilities who have abandoned during COVID. Learn more about our COVID-19 outreach project here.


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