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Interview with KZSVS, COVID-19 Edition

  • 3 min read

KZSVS, India

Lucky Iron Fish partnered with KZSVS in 2018 through our impact fund to help address the high rates of anemia in Orissa, India. To date, Lucky Iron Fish and KZSVS have reached 2,850 families to provide nutritional training and the Lucky Shakti Leaf. 

  • What is KZSVS and what do you do? 

Kandhamal Zilla Sabuja Vadihya Sanghthan (KZSVS) is active in Kandhamal district of Orissa, working for socio-economic development of poor and vulnerable communities that are inaccessible by cars and have no access to good health care. KZSVS service providers are committed to reaching these remote communities and always “make sure to go the last mile.” We recently partnered with Lucky Iron Fish and have seen a huge increase in the overall health in the community.

  • What is the current situation like in the community where you work? How have you adjusted your work to address COVID 19?

The village we work in does not have the best living standards, and following the statement from the Prime Minister on a full country lockdown, the situation has worsened. Several villagers are also stranded outside the village since they went out to seek work and are now finding it almost impossible to get back home. The trajectory of the disease in this population is going to be unclear as the smoking rates, respiratory disease rates and tuberculosis are extremely high. KZSVS has rapidly established district-level coordination to deliver strategic, technical and operational support through existing senior-level management. KZSVS will work on the state level to mobilize support and implement activities required by the state to assist in controlling the spreading of the virus. The current response plan assumes that human contact is reduced at all times, however, when needed, KZSVS will ensure the utmost care and attention to those in need is provided, including medical facilities. KZSVS will guarantee all necessary precautions are taken, including responding to imported cases.

  • What impact do you think you will see on health and nutrition in the community following COVID-19? 

The Covid-19 outbreak has disrupted food systems around the state of Odisha. The availability of food, prices, vendors and access to healthy food is rare and it is a challenge to us at KZSVS. These changes in the food market that the end-users experienced influenced them into making the wrong dietary choices under impulsive buying and stocking their homes. Post Covid-19, we will see worse nutrition in the villagers around the area because of current buying practices and lack of physical exercise in the community. We believe a national lockdown, closed borders, reduction in air traffic amongst many others, will be the reasons for our food security, sovereignty and worse nutrition and health levels in the community because people refrain from exercising from their homes. 

  • What is your organization doing to battle COVID-19 in your area?

KZSVS is planning to provide Health Care support to about 21,783 people of which approximately 70% are vulnerable through local contamination. KZSVS is providing dry rations to over 4706 families, including families of commercial migrants. Plans are also underway to provide medical supplies to health care centres and hospitals. To help reduce community transition, we are taking the following activities:

  1. Awareness generation through mobile messaging, information leaflet distribution, well paintings, and door to door campaigns on Covid-19
  2. Temporary quarantine centres 
  3. Distribution of masks and awareness campaigns on the use of mask and proper sanitation
  4. Regular check-ups on more vulnerable members of society including the elderly and women and young children.