For many living in the remote areas of Patamda, Jugsalai, and Ghatshila, seeing a mobile healthcare unit outside their huts was something they hardly believe. So far, these Adivasi families had to walk long distances to visit the nearest primary health care center.
That changed when the five mobile units the East Singhbhum district administration launched on Wednesday reached these areas. The units will take up the role of a hospital’s outpatient departments (OPD) in the villages located away from any healthcare facility.
Flagging off the vehicles, deputy commissioner (DC) Vijaya Jadhav said, “The mobile units aim to ensure medical facilities to all, irrespective of the place they reside in. Doctors, para-medical staff, ANMs, and laboratory technicians will visit the targeted areas in the vehicles which are equipped with telemedicine facilities, too.
Ten remote blocks of the districts will be targeted in the first phase. The reach may be widened based on the availability of resources in later stages, Jadhav added.
As the vans will have facilities to dispense medicines, the DC said pregnant women can have timely medical check-ups at their doorsteps and get necessary medicines free of cost. The government doctors can extend their assistance to the mobile medical units if required, the DC stated. The local ‘Sahiyas’ have been provided with mobile numbers of the units so that they can contact them in case of emergencies.
Civil surgeon Dr Jujhar Manjhi said in rural areas, the units can work wonders as all kinds of primary health check-ups can be done. If required, these doctors will refer the patients to the sadar hospital or the MGMMCH.
The vans were provided by a non-government organisation, which is working in collaboration with the state government to provide medical facilities to the poor. Talking to TOI on Wednesday, the project coordinator, Robert Anthony, said the response on the first day at the three blocks covered by the mobile medical vans was overwhelming. The NGO aims to provide similar healthcare facilities in other rural areas, too, he added.