Amma Mini Clinics a boon for rural populace

A village health nurse checks the vitals of a patient at the Amma Mini Clinic in Ogalur in Perambalur district.   | Photo Credit: M. Srinath

Residents of interior villages in rural Perambalur say Amma Mini Clinics have helped to provide immediate medical attention for the sick and elderly. The increasing awareness on the availability of the facility would be beneficial to the public, health officials say.

Karpagammal, an 80-year-old woman who lives alone at her house in Ogalur, nearly 40 km from Perambalur town, experienced severe pain in her lower back on Friday morning. When she consulted her neighbours, they referred her to the newly-inaugurated Amma Mini Clinic nearby.

She slowly made her way to the clinic, where she was met by Village Health Nurse Saleth Sushmitha who checked her vitals before providing medicine for her pain. “I did not know that I would be treated for free. Such services need to be made available for people like me who cannot travel far on their own,” Ms. Karpagammal said. The nearest Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) is in Labbaikudikadu, seven kilometres away.

A doctor is available at the clinic from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., and from 2 p.m. till 8 p.m. when regular outpatient treatment is provided. “Due to COVID-19, the PHCs have their hands full. These mini clinics would take some load off them, while also providing treatment for small ailments,” Sushmitha said. The clinic is also stocked with medications for fever, dysentery etc.,” she added.

In case the ailment is serious, the patient would be referred immediatly to the Perambalur District Headquarters Hospital, or to the nearby PHC.

Like Karpagammal, the people in the village say that the availability of a doctor in the evening is a boon. “My mother had fever in the evening and we brought her here for treatment. If not for the clinic, we would have had to take her to a private clinic and shell out at least ₹200 for consultation and some more for medicine,” a man in Ogalur said.

Speaking to The Hindu, R. Geetha Rani, Deputy Director of Health Services, Perambalur, said that the service was only a few weeks old and already, at least 40 people were visit these clinics every day. So far, six clinics have been opened while three mobile clinics are functional, she said. "It is through word-of-mouth that the people know of the availability of these clinics. Many more such clinics have been planned for Perambalur district,” she added.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 2:50:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/amma-mini-clinics-a-boon-for-rural-populace/article33601448.ece

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