Prevention is better than cure: The Ladmawphlang case in point

Ladmawphlang in East Khasi Hills, a partner community of NESFAS, has a total of 88 households. When the second wave of the pandemic struck the country, this village immediately activated its COVID-19 committee and a quarantine center at Ramakrishna Mission, a school situated in the village itself.

When Meghalaya and other parts of India saw the worsened situation and rising number of cases, many young people returned back to their respective homes and villages to prevent themselves from future harm.

On May 27, 2021, a youth returned from Assam to Ladmawphlang. Prior to his arrival, the committee and his family members that he will undergo his quarantine at his own house itself made a decision. NESFAS was informed of this decision and the team took the matter seriously to avoid further serious transmission.

The team from NESFAS; including Pius Ranee, Executive Director, Badarishisha Nongkynrih, Lead Associate Public Health Services and Ruth Sohtun, Field Coordinator, along with the Headman and Village Secretary of Ladmawphlang got together virtually to discuss the situation. The NESFAS team strongly recommended that all returnees should be isolated and complete their quarantine in the available centres. They also made a point to share the instance of a situation that happened in another partner village, where fast transmission of the disease happened due to negligence.

After a few rounds of consideration, the Ladmawphlang COVID-19 committee and its local authorities finally accepted the suggestions by NESFAS, and successfully activated the quarantine centre. Even though the returnee tested negative for the virus upon his arrival, the community still took preventive measures with stringent action. NESFAS and its partners work with 130 communities and the biggest yet the most challenging initiative is to help change mindsets. Ladmawphlang came through; the community has zero cases till date and other communities can learn from this good news.

Quarantine centre in Ramakrishna School

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Alethea Lyngdoh
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