It has been two months since the nurses of the home-visiting program Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) work from home. Due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, which imposed a requirement for social distance, the nurses transferred very successfully the traditional home visits into remote home visits. This allowed them to continue the process of consulting young pregnant women and mothers with babies up to 2 years of age.
From March 16, 2020, the program teams in Sofia and Plovdiv reorganized their work process by making "alternative contacts" with mothers - phone calls and virtual meetings through various mobile applications. Following the normal schedule of the program and having the opportunity to be flexible due to the emergency situation, the nurses were able to establish and maintain regular contact with almost all users of the NFP service. The the most vulnerable families, which did not have telephones or means to cover their bills, were visited and assisted by our colleagues on the field – the health mediators.
The NFP program and the teams’ work proved to be a key factor of support for the young mothers during this period of limited access to health and social services. In addition to constantly counseling the women on medical issues, the nurses also worked with the families for better mental health in the imposed social isolation. The teams constantly registered the emerging needs among the families at risk, so that they could be additionally supported - with food packages, advice on finding a job, assistance from a health mediator.
Despite the unusual conditions in which the program operated, the young women remained committed and grateful for the care. And the nurses start gradually going back to their normal field work after the beginning of June.