To further improve the Mother and Child health services, the Punjab Government today launched the Care Companion Program with an aim to turn hospital hallways/wards into classrooms and taps into the most compassionate and willing resource available for care .Disclosing this here today, Health Minister Mr Balbir Singh Sidhu said the by sensitizing the patient's own family for take care of their loved ones in the hospital and at home, the Punjab Government has initiated this scheme and now, Punjab becomes the first State to extend the program at Sub-division hospitals. He said that India accounts for over 22% of newborn deaths, with 5,22,000 deaths annually, more than any other country in the world. It is estimated that 70% of deaths in children under 5 are preventable through better health practices, many of them actionable at home.Mr Balbir Sidhu further said that Punjab Government is committed to improving the health status and welfare of Punjab’s citizens by increasing the awareness among people and building capacity of its healthcare workers. He said that CCP has been shown to decrease neonatal mortality, burden of readmissions, post discharge complications and increase levels of hospital hygiene, productivity of nurses, and patient satisfaction in the Public Healthcare Institutes in Punjab. The program has been operational in the areas of Maternal and Child Health and General and Surgical patient care.
He informed that Care Companion Program was also recognized by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt of India at the National Health Innovation Summit in 2019. He said that initiative has started as pilot in 6 district hospitals in 2017 for postnatal care services, then expanded to all 22 district hospitals including antenatal and sick newborn care curriculum in 2018. With the promising results of the program, Care Companion Program for medical and surgical condition areas was also launched for 22 district hospitals in 2019.Director Health Services (Family Welfare) Dr. Andesh Kang said that so far, close to 1100 nurses have been trained in this program in Punjab and they in turn have trained more than 2,43,000 family caregivers in the last 4 years. She said that Noora Health has also provided support to the COVID pandemic response thereby assisting the state government. Not only were COVID awareness messaging sent through Care Companion sessions in Hospitals but also through tele-training and IVRS based messaging to COVID positive patients and their caregivers.State Programme Officer CCP, Dr. Baljit Kaur said that in an effort to ensure the benefits of this program reach more people, the Punjab health department has decided to expand the program into Sub District hospitals (SDH’s) around the state.Director Health & Family Welfare Dr. Gurinderbir Singh Services, Director ESI Dr. O P Gojra, Deputy Director Dr. Nisha Sahi, Assistant Director Dr. Baljit Kaur, Co-Founder Noora Health Dr. Shahed Alam were also present on the occasion.