Piramal Swasthya Management and Research Institute has tied up with seven states -- Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Bihar -- for providing its Health Information Helpline - 104 in this COVID-19 crisis period.
So far, the institute has received 2.5 lakh plus phone calls on this helpline platform and addressed callers' queries on coronavirus disease, the Piramal Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Piramal Group, said in a statement.
On an average, the health helpline received around 20,000 calls in a day. The calls were received from seven states, but maximum were from Bihar, Assam, Jharkhand and Chattisgarh, it said.
During this COVID-19 pandemic, the health helpline service has been acting as a channel between the governments and the communities by offering validated medical advice to the callers 24x7 every day.
Piramal Swasthya said to deal with the increased number of calls, the frontline staff team has been significantly expanded as per state requirement.
Currently, over 1,200 staff across various centres, which include paramedics, counsellors and doctors, are relentlessly attending to calls related to health advice, counselling, information sharing and reporting of COVID-19.
Commenting about the helpline, Piramal Foundation CEO Paresh Parasnis said: "This initiative has helped in creating awareness thus bringing down the anxiety and fear in the society caused due to the coronavirus."
The 104-health helpline proved to be a simple and yet effective tool to share validated information as per the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, especially for people who are not technology savvy or live in areas where access to media is challenging, he added.
It was in 2006, Piramal Swasthya had started 104-Health Information Helpline in India as a one stop solution for all health-related information and advice.
The service is supported by innovative software application and Clinical Decision Support System of validated algorithms and disease summaries and helps in tackling shortage of human resource enabling access to quality healthcare services.
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