Reaching out to the underserved in North Telangana

People queuing up for tests at the diagnostics bus launched by Pratima Institute of Medical Sciences.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be a bane for many people suffering from other ailments with hospitals focussing on the coronavirus. But people in three north Telangana districts have relatively been at comfort with diagnostics and doctors brought to their doorstep, thanks to a diagnostics bus introduced by the Pratima Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) in Karimnagar.

As a part of the PIMS initiative ‘Aarogyam Mee Mungitlo’ through the Pratima Foundation, state-of-the-art Volvo medical bus equipped with the latest diagnostic equipment have been introduced in Karimnagar, Warangal and Adilabad districts to diagnose non-communicable chronic diseases like cardiac-related diseases and cancer, and to also address chronic health problems.

“So far, 500 camps have been organised in the villages since the services were launched during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic last year,” says PIMS director Harini Boinapally.

“The effort is to take best medical facilities to the doorstep of people who can’t afford specialised medicare or who don’t even realise they need a check-up, particularly women who are increasingly getting prone to breast cancer,” the doctor adds.

Two more buses

The bus has diagnostic facilities including X-ray, electrocardiogram (ECG), cardiac profile (2D Echo), pap smear, mammography and a mini laboratory. Two more buses are being launched soon, Dr Harini says.

The initiative has touched the lives of thousands of patients in the rural areas of Karimnagar, Adilabad and Warangal districts. Statistics reveal that 41.9% of people above 70 years and 50.3% of people in the age group of 40 to 69 years suffer from non-communicable diseases. An astonishingly 20% of the young population between 15 to 39 years too fall prey to these diseases. Adilabad, a tribal-dominated district, has a high mortality rate as well. The vast number of doctors, medicos and para-medical staff of the PIMS are engaged in the work. PIMS has 320 doctors, 223 PG doctors, 185 paramedical staff and 500 nursing staff. Engaging them in the three districts becomes easy as they are all within 50 km distance of the medical college, says Dr Harini. Village sarpanches are involved to ensure wider participation of people. Basic health check-up is done in the village first and based on the reports, the diagnostic buses are brought with senior doctors and specialists offering their input.

Patients requiring further treatment are taken to PIMS or the nearest hospital. If the patients are not covered under the State government’s Aarogyasri’ scheme, PIMS extends complete support for treatment. Earlier, Prathima Foundation had organised a free camp in association with Healing Little Hearts Foundation wherein 100 children went through life-saving heart surgeries.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 4:38:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/reaching-out-to-the-underserved-in-north-telangana/article35415555.ece

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