Madurai

Keeping the oath

Gynaecologist Jaya Ponraj with a pregnant nomadic woman at Poonga Nagar near Valliyoor in Tirunelveli district.

Gynaecologist Jaya Ponraj with a pregnant nomadic woman at Poonga Nagar near Valliyoor in Tirunelveli district.  

Gynecologist visits Narikurava Colony and tests pregnant women, children

When an ambulance entered Narikurava Colony in Poonga Nagar near Valliyoor on Sunday evening, the nomads could hardly believe their eyes. Since they pitched their tents in the area, they had not received any medical assistance at the doorstep.

No wonder that they were shocked to see a female physician, Jaya Ponraj, getting down from the vehicle and announcing the purpose of her visit: to test pregnant women in the colony and others.

A gynecologist and resident of Reddiyarpatti, located on the outskirts of Palayamkottai, Dr. Jaya Ponraj was undeterred by the lack of facilities. Over the years, she had offered similar medical assistance to orphan children, HIV positive patients, transgenders and juvenile offenders.

During her two-hour sojourn, she screened women — six of them pregnant — children and babies, courtesy a resident who allowed her the use of his house to check them one by one.

The physician’s sense of duty had been triggered by a recent report she read in The Hindu on the plight of babies and children in the colony because their mothers could not afford to buy milk to feed them.

“Though the purpose of the visit was to meet the babies and their young mothers, I was happy that I could screen six pregnant women there,” she told The Hindu. “All enjoy good health. Their blood pressure is normal,” she said.

She also screened babies, who recently suffered from an upset stomach. “We do not have money to buy milk for our babies, but a group of people sponsored for 28 children for five days. Later, officials distributed milk powder,” the young mothers told her.

Realising that that the dairy product was fed to the young ones without diluting it to the desirable level, leading to stomach upset, Dr. Jaya taught them the right way to prepare milk with the powder. She also distributed vitamin tablets and tonic, which brought a smile to their face.

“After a newborn died recently in the colony, the pregnant women were apprehensive. Now, the doctor’s visit has given them a lot of confidence and allayed their fears,” said Mary, a resident.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 3:24:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/keeping-the-oath/article31510513.ece

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