Addressing the Challenges of Containing Covid-19 Spread in a Rural, Poor Area in India: A Case Study

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact much of the world, but low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) bear the highest burden of cases and deaths. Dr. Madelon Finkel, professor of clinical population health sciences at Weill Cornell Medicine, and colleagues are working on a multi-pronged approach to empower rural communities to adopt prevention strategies. Their Asian Journal of Medicine and Health study — the first of its kind in Tamil Nadu — includes relying on easy-to-understand health messages and neighborhood community health workers trained to educate and encourage people to learn about COVID-19 and to get tested if symptomatic. This will enhance the limited contact tracing done by government officials, increase awareness about testing and provide guidelines about seeking medical attention. A potential guide for similar geographic areas dealing with COVID-10, this study will provide needed information about the extent of disease spread among rural populations, the ability of the local health systems to provide medical care to those who test positive and how to inform and engage communities to protect themselves. 

Population Health Sciences 402 E. 67th St. New York, NY 10065 Phone: (646) 962-8001