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Coronavirus pandemic| IIT Bombay’s Spoken Tutorial Project launches helpline for mothers stuck at home

The new ‘Maa Aur Shishu Poshan’ helpline number 1800 -267-7782 is now available in Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Gujarati and English.

April 01, 2020 / 11:59 AM IST

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay’s Spoken Tutorial Project has launched a new toll-free helpline for mothers stuck at home due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Here, expert guidance will be provided for queries pertaining to premature babies, under-nourished infants, child nutrition, breastfeeding and mother’s nutrition.

The institute in a statement said that all the queries will be answered by doctors, nutritionists and field officers with more than 10 years of experience.

“The new ‘Maa Aur Shishu Poshan’ (mother and child nutrition) helpline  number  1800 -267-7782  is  now available in Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Gujarati and English,” said IIT Bombay.

IIT Bombay

The Spoken Tutorial project is funded by the National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology, launched by the Ministry of Human Resources and Development (MHRD). This project is developed at IIT Bombay for MHRD.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Under Maa aur Shishu initiative, from 2018 onwards, the Spoken Tutorial Project has created educational tutorials on breastfeeding, various holds of breastfeeding, complementary feeding, maternal nutrition, breastfeeding difficulties and infant care topics.

This has been dubbed into 14 languages, used to train Anganwadi workers, ASHA workers, auxiliary nurses, nursing students and lady health visitors.

The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic has spread across 180 countries. April 1 is the eighth day of India's 21-day lockdown. This lockdown has mandated people to stay indoors except stepping out to purchase essentials or medical emergencies, in a bid to contain the spread.

The total number of reported COVID-19 cases in India stands at 1,397. The Union Health Ministry has said that 35 people have died due to the virus.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Apr 1, 2020 11:59 am

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