Releasing the pressure valve at coronavirus hot zones
When we want to feel safe and avoid coronavirus infections, we stay home and isolate ourselves. But not everyone has that luxury of space or movement to self-isolate.
When the MCO was announced on 18th March, hundreds of thousands of university students were stranded on their campuses for over a month till they were allowed to return to their hometowns. In late April, the Malaysian government managed the phased departure of over 100,000 students back to their families, so that congestions didn’t occur and everyone got home safely.
This was the reality for families that had children who were away at institutes of higher learning, domestically or abroad.
For families with members who have gone abroad as wage workers, the situation is much less optimistic.
According to a news outlet, Voanews.com, even though Singapore had been praised for its efforts in keeping the coronavirus in check, outbreaks still occurred in mid-April because of an overlooked segment of the population: hundreds of thousands of migrant workers in crammed living conditions aka dormitories.
Not only Singapore, but Malaysia and her neighbouring countries do rely on migrant labour to power factories, raise skylines, work plantations and propel economies forward. This results in a 2.5 million documented migrant workforce located in just Malaysia, with just as many likely to be illegal.
Recognising the complexity and severity of the situation, the Malaysian health ministry has placed KL neighbourhoods with cases of infections among migrant workers, under tight lockdown. Later on, the ministry called for testing of the whole migrant community, all across Malaysia, according to Voanews.com.
The lockdown has not only created inconvenience for many but has also stranded communities like the migrant workers and international students who may have to go through lots of anxiety for not having their family around during this COVID-19 pandemic. On top of this, is limited access to healthcare services in their native language which adds to their already high stress and anxiety.
So, the long-term situation calls for a solution that is actually sustainable.
Total wellness delivered electronically
According to Borderless Healthcare Group (BHG), the confinement process may have totally neglected foreign workers’ and students’ mental wellness, and BHG is stepping forward to implement a total wellness program for migrant workers and international students in Malaysia and beyond.
Founder and chairman of BHG, Dr. Wei Siang Yu said, “We need more ‘heartware’ for certain compromised groups in the world amidst the uncertainties caused by the pandemic. I like to thank all our Malaysian doctors who stepped forward to help make the world a more caring place! Borderless Healthcare Group is here to drive this total wellness program with them to bring healthcare professionals, migrant workers/international students and their family members together via the Borderless.clinic platform.”
The Borderless clinic platform could be seen as a platform with a telehealth engine that powers TV screens with content for different population segments to engage with. It has potential for a co-care use case in workers’ dormitories; for example workers can interact with COVID-19 experts and doctors from their countries via a big screen.
Dr. Liew Kong Fui, a family doctor in Malaysia said, “We are not limiting the function of the doctors in a small screen mobile marketplace. Borderless.clinic allows family physicians, specialists, nutritionists, fitness coaches, nurses, counsellors etc around the globe to co-care just like in an actual hospital setting without geographical barriers and device limitation.”
Malaysian doctors are led by Dr Liew who is also a Borderless Medipreneur. He will be working with other Borderless Medipreneurs in other countries like Myanmar, Indonesia etc to address the migrant worker community, via the Borderless clinic platform.
There is a Borderless.clinic app in beta phase, ready for dormitory owners to download at www.borderless.clinic.