The School of Medical Sciences along with Centres of Health Psychology and Neural & Cognitive Sciences have embarked on the much needed campus surveillance activities and psychosocial support in response to the Covid 2019 situation in the University Campus. Through the next few weeks and months, teams of scholars and students from the school shall undertake campus community surveillance and provide psychosocial support services as a comprehensive strategy to the already ongoing efforts in the campus responding to the needs of the campus stakeholders.
Campus surveillance will include active surveillance, passive surveillance and sentinel surveillance for tracing, tracking, triaging, including facilitating testing and treatment of suspected cases and contacts and also through appropriate cross referrals help support the desired stakeholders with allaying apprehensions and counselling and other psychosocial support services for its stakeholders. The teams would also actively coordinate with the nodal units of the university the Health Centre, DSW office, Chief Wardens Office and the Administration to assure the health, safety and wellbeing of the campus community.
Public Health surveillance activity team consists of 9 MPH students and 1 PhD scholar who have volunteered to carry out this challenging activity. These Public Health students earlier worked as part of Telangana and A.P state surveillance teams during 1st Covid wave. The surveillance team will be led by Dr Ajitha Katta and technical support by Dr Joby Joseph.
Psychosocial support team will be led by Dr G Padmaja. This team titled as Trusted Friends will comprise of the volunteers from the PhD research scholars of Centre for Health Psychology. Some of the research scholars from the team are those who have already been trained in Counselling Skills by Centre for Health Psychology at their Masters level. The remaining research scholars would support them. The team would help the community through their online service of active listening using the google hangout group created by them. Any such person in need of psycho-social support will be identified by the Surveillance team and details are communicated to the Trusted friends group. In addition to this group, the Psychological Counsellors from the Counselling unit of DSW’s office will also be available for further Psycho-social support and may consider any further referrals if necessary.
The holistic support process as a combined effort from Surveillance team and the psycho-social support team will be kept confidential within the limits and the professional groups. The entire system will function under the guidance of Dr BR Shamanna and headed by the Dean School of Medical sciences. Wherever necessary advices will also be sought from the CMO.
For the School and Centres, it is a challenge turned into an opportunity to be associated with an unique immersion and learning experience which is something that the scholars and students will cherish for time to come. This is a novel and unique system of voluntary service evolved by the active participation of all the Units of School of Medical Sciences