Raising social awareness for combating COVID-19 stigma
The pandemic has resulted in stigma and discrimination against people affected with the infection, their families, and even healthcare providers treating them and people providing other essential services. This further aggravates the problem as people refrain to come out for testing and treatment for the fear of getting discriminated.
To address this challenge, MoHFW invited development partners including Norway India Partnership Initiative (NIPI) for technical and programmatic support. In consensus with development partners, MOHFW identified the National Anti-stigma and Discrimination Campaign as a key strategy. The objectives of the campaign were to raise social awareness for combating stigma; creating an enabling environment for people with symptoms to seek help and go for testing for COVID-19; and show solidarity, encouragement and support to all healthcare workers and sanitation staff on COVID-19 line of duty.
All the five States/UT teams of NIPI were oriented about the campaign and the required development materials. State teams have shared many human interest stories in the form of video bytes, pictures and short articles that are further shared with MOHFW as well as state health societies for dissemination at their respective social media platforms. These stories showcase the achievement of healthcare workers working to tackle the pandemic and words of encouragement for them from people. Through this medium, NIPI is also trying to raise awareness about empathizing people affected with COVID-19.