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Schools may be shut down in India to help stop the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus, but the organization HealthSetGo is continuing to help keep children in India healthy at home.

Founded by Priya Prakash — winner of the 2019 Global Citizen Prize: Cisco Youth Leadership Award — HealthSetGo aims to ensure every child in India grows up disease-free and healthy. 

The organization uses technology and health care to empower parents, doctors, schools, and governments to improve the health and lives of children through medical exams and health report cards. 

One of the first people to test positive for the coronavirus in Delhi in March was a parent at one of the schools HealthSetGo works with closely, Prakash says. Now the 28-year old is running HealthSetGo remotely and is determined to find solutions to continue serving India’s youth. 

“A large part of our work was offline, going to schools, and getting teams of doctors in various parts of the country. None of that is possible now,” Prakash tells Global Citizen.

HealthSetGo has impacted more than 200,000 children and parents in India, but the nearly 5,000 doctors in the organization’s network cannot continue providing in-school examinations due to the country’s lockdown first placed in March.

Children in India are at high risk of malnutrition, obesity, and preventable diseases and for some, HealthSetGo is their only access to health care. Their resources are even more limited during the pandemic.

“A lot of schools started online classes for education, but nobody was doing anything about health,” she says.

With stress at an all-time high due to COVID-19 coronavirus, HealthSetGo is focusing its efforts on helping children and their families manage their mental health.

“Parents are very stressed out because they see that their children's education is getting disrupted,” Prakash continues. 

HealthSetGo’s online platform already had a feature to allow parents to submit questions before the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, but it takes 24 to 48 hours to receive a response. The organization is working to offer answers in real-time.

A mental health bot is also available for children to assess how they are feeling and help them deal with their emotions.

“These children probably did not have a way to express that, so that's been quite positive,” Prakash says.

What’s more, HealthSetGo is combating misinformation by hosting educational webinars and live Q&As with the doctors in their network, and encouraging children to stay active. 

The organization is circulating a wellness calendar of daily activities, from meditation to exercise instruction, to nearly 80,000 parents.

Prakash finds it uplifting to see so many parents spending positive time with their children and participating in at-home workouts.

“It is a very light-hearted moment in the day for these kids,” she says. 

Prakash hopes HealthSetGo can eventually provide the same online tools to the global community in different languages. The organization is also planning a fundraiser to donate hand sanitizer and face masks to underprivileged children to protect themselves against COVID-19.

“We would love to give whatever resources we have,” she says.

You can join the global efforts in responding to COVID-19 by taking action through our Together At Home campaign here.

You can see all of Global Citizen's COVID-19 coverage here.

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