Orientation to frontline responders in the context of COVID-19
An orientation for frontline responders in the context of COVID-19 was conducted by TPO Nepal with the support of UNICEF Nepal. The orientation was conducted virtually through Zoom on 17 May 2021 from 2:30 pm to 4:15 pm. The orientation covered topics such as minimum requirements to be followed during the COVID-19 pandemic, self-care techniques and psychosocial support. The target group of the orientation were volunteers, social workers, Community Psychosocial Workers (CPSWs), psychosocial counselors, and other frontline workers working in holding center, isolation center, and border entry points during the pandemic. A total of 136 participants participated in the orientation.
Mr. Pitambar Koirala from TPO Nepal welcomed the participants and facilitated the orientation. The first expert presentation was given by Dr. Kamal Gautam, Executive Manager of TPO Nepal. His presentation focused on history of COVID-19, its mode of transmission, precautions at workplace, and measures to be followed as basic standard by a service provider. Some of these measures are personal hygiene, use of masks and personal protective equipment (PPE), physical distancing, hand washing, disinfecting, seeking help, etc. He also urged the participants to follow authentic news sources and care for own physical and mental health.
After this, Dr. Shreeram Upadhyaya, Clinical Registrar at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH), gave his presentation on self-care and stress management at the workplace. Some of the symptoms of stress are headaches, back pain, neck and shoulder pain, upset stomach, loss of appetite, heavy chest, tight muscles, etc. He also gave some tips to manage the stress that could arise while working to care for people during this pandemic. Some of these tips were following authentic news sources, exercising, meditating, doing favorite activities, following sleep routine, and seeking help if necessary.
Lastly, Sabina Maharjan, Clinical Psychologist, gave her presentation focusing on the things to do at holding centers and how to do it based on the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guideline. She also shared about the cautionary requirements after performing a COVID-19 test and coping tips during the pandemic.
The floor was then opened to take questions from the participants which was respectively answered by the experts present in the orientation. The questions were mostly related to COVID-19 and mental health. During the conclusion, participants expressed that the orientation had been very helpful to them.