Main aim of the charity
CoCare is a group of healthcare volunteers established in 2020 by Dr. Kongkiat Kespechara with the aim of screening patients with suspected Covid-19 and to give Covid-19 patients medical advice and mental support through the CoCare application while waiting for hospital beds or in home isolation. Those activities are supported by over 2,000 volunteer medical personnel from different fields; doctors, nurses, pharmacists, psychologists, and medical personnel. CoCare believes that the unresolved COVID-19 situation requires active surveillance and provide medical treatment for positive cases are needed to stop the outbreak. CoCare also provides a volunteer team to proactively screen Covid-19 patients in communities to reduce the risks of infection. To date, CoCare has 90,000 registered users in Thailand. However, CoCare would like to ensure that the strong engagement of volunteer team that we currently have on hand can be managed and provided the resource to support the community in the future. Cocare has a big heart for a bigger mission and the biggest future.
How the employee got involved and why
At the beginning, I didn’t know that COVID was around the corner until my close friends get infected. Her whole family which is a member of 10 has to be quarantined immediately. They cannot even go out to get the medicine they need because it wasn’t allowed to do so. I offered to help her deliver the medicine and also helped them looking for hospital beds, which I realized that the possibility is zero. Then it really hits me how bad the situation was.
The whole process has no structure, because it was something we’ve never experienced/expected before. Even I am very keen on the all online platforms, it was quite complicate for me to register and follow up the whole process. So I thought if this happened to my mother, she won’t be able to do it too. This is my starting point that I want to help the patient to register themselves and ensure they will have the care package, benefit and meals they should be receiving. I started with something small as a phone call, but it made me know that how much it meant to them. I called one patient that he was 70s and away from his kid. He didn’t know what he should be getting and he couldn’t even go out to get the food. That day I sent someone from our team to check on him, provide him food, drink and medicine. Being able to be there for someone in a tough time to comfort them, was very meaningful. It is not just to them, but to me as well in a return. It fulfilled my heart and I feel I can make it better next day, and every day.
What work does the employee do for charity
During the deadly third wave of Covid in Thailand starting May 2021, the situation was very chaotic due to the rapid surge of COVID cases, but the limited resource for medical service.
Bangkok was under lockdown that the physical support was restricted. Therefore, I think the most support I could possibly do is either on-call or online platform.
I first started joining the doctor volunteer group, Cocare, to facilitate the patient in registering themselves online to the government platform for care package, call the patients (whom was under home isolation) to monitor their symptom everyday, provide the patient the self-care knowledge and escalate the case when the patient required intensive medical treatment. As a volunteer group that founded by volunteer doctor, we have a solid knowledge, medical prescription capability and guaranteed hospital beds for the severe cases.
Later on in July, the cases in Bangkok spiked due to overcrowded resident in many communities and led to a serious spreading within the city. To battle the pandemic, Cocare volunteer group launched a mass COVID testing at no cost for the communities. An early identified case can stop the infection to the whole country. Therefore, when Bangkok lockdown was lifted, I decided to step forward with CoCare team to help the communities at COVID testing site. There is no specific roles I do at sites, but I am flexible to help the team in every spot in need includes; patient registration, process facilitator, and swab testing . To me, it is very big decision to step outside the safety zone to the red zone that I could risk not only myself, but my family. However, I know that the pandemic cannot really go away, we finally have to live with it. So, we cannot leave anyone behind and together we could win it together.