The Saga of Medical Camps Going Wrong

Unfortunate Medical Camp - 60 People lose Vision

Unfortunate Medical Camp – 60 People lose Vision

As an integral part of the medical fraternity we are naturally mortified and concerned about the way in which some medical camps have recently been organized. Just as we were getting over the tragedy of the Chhattisgarh mass sterilization debacle here comes another tragedy where sixty senior persons lost their vision after eye operations at a medical camp organized in Punjab. One can only wonder at the lax manner in which such free medical camps get organized.

Unknowingly people suffer these shocking calamities every once in a while, and when such morbid instances gain epic proportions, one can only surmise that planning and preparations were haywire. These recent cases have drawn much flak, from both national and international media, and also great deal of debating  has occurred amid the district medical authorities and medical groups in these areas.

It therefore becomes very essential to gain an understanding of the role of free camps or continuing medical education programmes as the case may be, to carefully examine the proprieties of holding such camps. We know for sure that it is largely poor and weaker sections of society that come to such camps. More often than not the implementing agencies are either adhering to targets, or fulfilling agendas or even using such opportunities for effective marketing gambits. But unwittingly they often backfire by some wrong or incorrect planning.

Whatever their intention – one thing is definite that participating crowds of mainly poor patients do benefit from the ministrations of medical doctors and even get free medications for their treatments. HERD Foundation has a history of organizing such medical camps since the past several years, and it has been with a sense of commitment that we have literally reproduced hospital like setting in the outdoors. In our experience such camps have to be planned meticulously right down to the smallest detail to be tapped properly.

Hand in hand with Lata Mangeshkar Hospital, our sister concern, we have catered to the medical needs of large numbers of poor, weak, and marginalized people both in villages and in city slums. It has been no mean task to delegate responsibilities at every level for day long health camps providing free medical checkups to over 2000 registered people. We include eight medical departments ( Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Pediatrics, Orthopedics, Ophthalmology, Surgery, Dental and ENT Departments) from our hospital with matching teams of doctors, interns, nurses and attendants providing due support to examine and treat patients.

HERD Foundations innovative approaches have attempted such health care delivery in deep rural-tribal areas close to Nagpur. We have been able to provide the best health facilities and services to the poor tribal populations, until quite recently absolutely free of cost. Referral cases get patients treated in hospital for which they are duly charged so that a value based model of health care becomes available. Our own strategy has been to focus on key elements of effective risk management to endeavor to anticipate what could possibly go wrong, work towards reducing chances of it going wrong and plan what to do when it does go wrong. Understanding the essence of “risk management” sees to it that medical camps pre-assess and manage these risks.

Chattisgarh Sterilization Camp Debacle

Chattisgarh Sterilization Camp Debacle

Food for Thought – Breaking the Silence around Women’s Ill-health

 

happy rural woman with kid

Happy Through it All

We are really surprised by the show-up by rural women in our medical health camps. They come in large numbers and sit around patiently waiting for their turns. The majority of them suffer from all kinds of aches and pains; from debilitating lower back pain, to aching calf muscles, and even chronic migraines. One would have thought that rural women – work-hardy souls, bent double with domestic drudgery and field work would enjoy deep nightly slumbers to sleep away their pains. Alas this is not so.

Nutrition plays a major role in women’s good health. Psychological well being also positively affects the physical health status. A woman’s health is often dramatically impaired by malnutrition. India currently has one of the highest rates of malnourished women among developing countries. A study in 2000 found that nearly 70 percent of non-pregnant women and 75 percent of pregnant women are anemic. One of the reasons of malnutrition remains gender imbalance in distribution of food resources.

It is an age old tradition for women to deprive themselves of all essential food items. They save it all for the next helping by brothers, sons and husbands. Studies indicate that nutritional intake in early adolescence by girls can affect her reproductive health. Maternal malnutrition has also been associated with increased risk of maternal mortality as also child birth defects. Addressing the problem of malnutrition would lead to beneficial outcomes for women and children.

Further our health care system remains skewed. It is a fact that healthcare professionals remain concentrated in urban areas. This results in people from rural areas seeking care from unqualified providers who lack formal training. HERD Foundation realizes that health is an important factor that contributes to human well-being of rural communities. Women do face multiple health problems that need to be compassionately addressed.  HERD Foundation works despite gender, class and ethnic disparities existing in rural areas through a healthcare delivery system that improvises medical services, especially for the women.

 

Overwhelming Response to Kachurvahi Medical Camp

 

Registration Counters

Overwhelming Numbers of Women Patients

HERD Foundation conducted a free medical camp for people of seven villages of Ramtek Taluka at the premises of Jagdamba Rice Mill at Kachurvahi. The health camp started at 4:00 pm to continue well over 10: 00 pm at night providing free medical checkups to 2000 registered people. Eight medical departments of NKP Salve Institute of Medical Sciences and Lata Mangeshkar Hospital with a team of doctors, interns, nurses and attendants provided support to examine and treat the people.

The medical and paramedical team of Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Pediatrics, Orthopedics, Ophthalmology, Surgery, Dental and ENT Departments attended to patients who were mobilized from seven villages – Kachurvahi, Hathodi, Lohdongri, Khodgaon, Kirnapur, Chokhala, and Vadgaon. An important feature of the camp was that besides active medical treatment it emphasized on the importance of proper hygiene and prevention measures especially in the ongoing monsoon season.

The camp was privileged by the presence of HERD Foundation founder Dr Amol Deshmukh who along with field staff organized the entire arrangements to make it a success. HERD Foundation’s chief social objective is medical relief for poor and needy. Dr Amol Deshmukh continues to play a key role in contributing for the medical welfare of people through provision of active medical treatment. He is a strong advocate for weaker sections to gain access to medical care, particularly those living in remote rural areas.

Visitors at the camp were examined by general physicians, specialists, dentists, and a team of paramedics to check for debilitating health conditions. Specialist doctors offered one-on-one consultations and several referral cases were taken up. Medical conditions relating to general discomfort, gynecological problems, joint pains, dental issues, eye problems, children’s ailments, malnutrition, back pain, oral cancerous lesions were looked into. Also some cancer cases were detected along with cases of infertility. Nearly about 150 people were checked for conditions requiring physiotherapy of which 50 were guided for treatment then and there. Also about 10 alcohol de-addiction cases were taken up for further treatment.