By M.T. Yogesh Kumar
Mysore/Mysuru: A team comprising three Health Volunteers, four ASHA Workers and one Anganwadi Worker is on a mission to save people from the dreaded COVID-19 by trekking several kilometres covering 11 haadis (tribal hamlets) and 13 villages on the forest border in Nagarahole National Park.
Eleven haadis and 13 villages are situated in Nagarahole Tiger Reserve in Antharasanthe hobli of H.D. Kote taluk in Mysuru district. The Kerala border is just at a stone’s throw distance. Most of these people depend on Kerala for their routine requirements.
Steps taken by Health Department have reduced the fear of Coronavirus in villages. While 2,151 persons stay in haadis, 5,619 people are in 13 villages. A Primary Health Centre (PHC) at D.B. Kuppe is managed by Medical Officer Dr. Arinjay R. Kattimani, under whom there are three Health Volunteers — Sowmya, Kempammanni and Mamatha. Besides, four ASHA and 14 Anganwadi Workers are serving people in hamlets and villages. The forest is infested with wild elephants, tigers and leopards which move in National Park as well as in Kabini Backwaters. In this treacherous terrain, these Health Volunteers, along with ASHA Workers — Manjula, Savitri, Susheela and Lakshmi — and Anganwadi Worker Haseena, go around 11 tribal hamlets to take care of tribals’ health. The team is divided into two groups to cover both villages and hamlets as much as possible.
River Kabini divides Karnataka and Kerala. Villagers depend on the boat service for crossing the borders. Now, boating has been stopped to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. Drivers of vehicles that ply on Mysuru-Manandavadi Main Road are strictly instructed not to stop vehicles near haadis or villages and also not to spit on road.
The house-to-house health survey by these Health Workers helped in containing the spread of pandemic there. Only 15 out of the total 7,770 people had tested Positive and they fully recovered after treatment at COVID Care Centres. “Sometimes we feel scared going inside the forest to reach the haadis as the route is frequented by wild animals. However, we take drop in goods vehicles while going to villages situated near the main road,” ASHA Workers told Star of Mysore.