Guwahati: Assam Cancer Care Foundation (ACCF) in collaboration with Amalgamated Plantation Private Limited (APPL) has resumed its community outreach programmes in three tea gardens in Dibrugarh, Jorhat and Darrang districts of Assam with special reference to COVID-19 outbreak. The outreach programmes began in Lamabari TE, Namrup TE, and Bhelaguri TE.
Work at Darrang started on July 3, while in Dibrugarh and Jorhat, the programme was resumed on June 29 and 30, respectively. The team will focus on sustaining awareness and preventive measures of COVID-19 among the people in the tea gardens. “An increased focus will also be given on tobacco control activities, as it is a well-known fact that tobacco consumption in any form increases serious complications from COVID-19,” a press release issued by ACCF on Saturday said.
“Tobacco use is known to cause immunosuppression or negatively affecting the immune system of the human body,” the release added. Once negatively affected, the tobacco user is susceptible to numerous diseases. Smokers may have a reduced lung capacity which would greatly increase the risk of COVID-19.
The outreach team of ACCF will be stationed at the respective tea estates for the next one to two months and will also continue providing its services along with the social welfare teams of these estates. Door-to-door visits are said to be conducted to make people aware of healthy food habits and exercising which are not only important cautionary practices against COVID-19 but also other existing non-communicable diseases (NCD). COVID-19 screening will be conducted every day along with NCD screenings in selected areas of the tea gardens.
This move comes after nearly three months’ hiatus because of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. As many services in the state are opening up in a phased manner, ACCF after discussions with higher authorities of APPL Estate has come to this decision of resuming the programme.
Rajiv Pathni, head of operations, ACCF, said, “With the restarting of the ACCF community outreach programmes, we believe it will provide a further impetus to the ongoing efforts of the government in containing the current COVID19 crisis. Our team will be working closely with the stakeholders in the tea garden to conduct daily awareness programs and community screenings of COVID19 along with common NCDs.”