Asia’s First City-wide Wastewater Surveillance System for COVID




The Government of Karnataka through the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) with support from COVIDActionCollab (CAC) and its partners celebrated the successful completion of one year of service in the city. The anniversary event released a collaborative playbook and shared insights on the future roadmap for scale, bringing to light the upcoming goals of the stakeholders. It also announced the launch of a Multi-city Environmental Surveillance Initiative for the supervision of pathogens of potential pandemics supported by the Crypto Relief Foundation.

 







Precision Health Wastewater Surveillance System

 

Launched in association with the Skoll Foundation on 2nd May 2021, the local and government bodies assisted in creating Asia’s first city-wide environmental surveillance covering 45 sites representing 131 wards targeting approximately 75% of the population in Bengaluru city.

 

The Precision Health platform works on the principle of environmental surveillance. An effort piloted by the COVIDActionCollab (CAC), with the objective of helping in the early diagnosis and preparedness to assist with disease intervention. The initiative, spearheaded by strategic data analysis and communication tools, assists local authorities in making decisions based on insightful real-time data on viral and disease strains.

 

Speaking on the one-year anniversary, Dr. Angela Chaudhuri Health Lead at the COVIDActionCollab said, “The Precision Health platform was conceptualized during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose was to provide real-time continuous information on trends and variants without burdening existing health systems. We are very fortunate to be in a city with forward-thinking leaders both in the administration and eminent world-class scientific domestic agencies working tirelessly to mitigate further crises.”

 

Dr. K.V. Thrilok Chandra, IAS and Special Commissioner (Health & IT) of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) added, “It is a matter of huge pride that the Bengaluru Municipality is the first to launch a wastewater Surveillance initiative as a preparatory step against COVID-19 in India. Through this initiative, we have been able to make informed decisions as we prioritized early detection mechanisms and precautionary measures in identified areas. We have been able to protect the health of our citizens and stand as a beacon of light for other municipalities to follow. Our collaborations with partners like The Catalyst Group, Swasti, CovidActionCollab, etc have inspired us to continue to expand the scope of this work and to build on India’s existing public health infrastructure.”

 

As they look forward to strengthening their partnership with the collaborative, Sandeep Nailwal, Founder of Crypto Relief Fund shares, “The fund commends the milestone that The Precision Health program has been able to achieve in the country so far! The ability of the program to accurately provide data, and to impact millions of lives through early intervention is one that we are eager to associate with. The collaboration and its success speak for themselves. It is remarkable how they ensure sustainability through continuous surveillance. The vision for the future must be to increase our reach to influence communities across regions and demographics, and we hope to play a part in this truly remarkable journey. We are today, launching a multicity initiative for wastewater surveillance with Swasti, which in the first phase will cover 10 districts in India. This initiative will be a part of the Environmental Surveillance program which will accurately predict future pandemics and thus enable effective strategies for prevention. Crypto Relief’s focus continues to remain on improving the public health systems in the country with strategic partnerships such as with Precision Health and Swasti.”

 

The collaborative, along with its partners, believes that environmental surveillance is an effective, efficient, sustainable, and powerful surveillance tool, which can be utilized to great extent in the public health surveillance system. To ensure sustainability through continuous surveillance, the Precision Health program will invite further collaborations to scale up initiatives in other parts of the country.

 

About COVIDActionCollab

The COVIDActionCollab (CAC) is an all-India collaborative, united to provide relief, recovery, and build resilience among the most vulnerable communities. The collaborative consists of organizations and networks working together to support these communities during the period of crisis and enable them to secure their future. The 350 partners’ strong collaborative has delivered over 1.7 crore service instances support to the vulnerable communities. The Collaborative envisions a world where vulnerable communities are empowered to survive and thrive during a humanitarian crisis. CAC aims to achieve synergy among its partners at multiple levels to accelerate impact, in keeping with the needs of these communities. Catalyst Group, the incubator is facilitating the formation and operation of the collaborative, driving its success along with eminent partners such as USAID and the Skoll Foundation. Website: covidactioncollab.org.

 

About Crypto Relief Fund (CRF)

The Crypto Relief Fund was announced on 24th April 2021 during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India. Founded by Sandeep Nailwal, the community consists of innovators who care for the people of India. Having begun with the vision to reduce suffering by providing healthcare and essentials to those fighting for survival against COVID, the Fund went on to accomplish the following: connecting those in need to the verified sources of aid; sourcing essential supplies and equipment from across the globe and providing them to the overwhelmed and under-resourced facilities; and strengthening health care systems and infectious disease surveillance/ research in India



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