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COVID Warriors: ‘Doctors On Wheels’ Address COVID-19 Healthcare Needs In Rural India

COVID warriors: Doctors on Wheels is a mobile medical van that will travel to villages of western Uttar Pradesh and provide free consultation and medicines to COVID patients

COVID Warriors: 'Doctors On Wheels' Address COVID-19 Healthcare Needs In Rural India
Highlights
  • Doctors on Wheels is an initiative to take healthcare to rural India
  • A bus has been converted into mobile medical unit with essential equipment
  • The aim is to cover 10 lakh people every month, starting from Uttar Pradesh

New Delhi: “Our Prime Minister says ‘Jahaan bimaari vahaan ilaaj (treatment must be where the disease is)’, so we came up with this mobile system”, said Nimith Agrawal, founder, DoctCo, an early-stage startup working in small towns to provide accessible healthcare. In an initiative to provide medical facilities for COVID patients in rural areas, DoctCo along with the Lung Care Foundation and the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee has launched ‘Doctors on Wheels’ service. The mobile medical van will travel to villages of western Uttar Pradesh and provide free medical consultation and medicines to COVID patients.

Also Read: COVID Warrior: Andhra Sarpanch Purchases Ambulance Costing Rs. 4 Lakh From His Own Pocket To Aid Villagers

The ‘Doctors on Wheels’ service, a mobile medical van launched from Delhi’s Bangla Sahib Gurudwara on June 5 (Saturday) has one doctor and two paramedics on board. To begin with, one mobile medical van has been started which aims to cover 10 lakh people in a month.

Talking to NDTV about the initiative, Mr Agrawal said,

Since we (DoctCo) deal with smaller cities we came across places like Aligarh where there is a huge scarcity of doctors around rural areas. We decided to come up with an initiative, in association with the Lung Care Foundation. The bus is equipped with thermal scanners, oximeters, ECG machines, COVID testing kit, rapid test kits and other medical devices which will give real time results. The aim of the bus is to go from village to village, screen people, treat patients and provide medicines.

Also Read: COVID Warrior: NGO In Srinagar Provides Free Ambulance Service With Oxygen, ICU Facilities

The Lung Care Foundation has provided 4,100 medicine kits for people with early COVID symptoms, or those who are suspected of being infected with the virus. Explaining the contents of medicine kits, Rajeev Khurana, a founder-trustee of the LungCare Foundation said,

We have created small pouches which contain three types of medicines – 30 Paracetamol tablets, 10 Doxycycline tablets and 5 Ivermectin tablets. The kit also contains a manual on how to take these medicines and what are the symptoms in which we should be in a position to take these medicines. In case there is an advanced problem, then the doctor onboard can connect the patient to experts at Lung Care Foundation. The patient can then be guided about when and how to approach the nearest hospital.

Also Read: COVID Warriors: Mumbai Doctor Couple Starts ‘Meds For More’, Collects Over 125 Kgs Of Unused COVID Medicines

As per the information shared by Mr Agrawal on social media, on day 1, the bus covered four villages and 8,500 people in Aligarh. 150 people were screened and 40 were given medicines. On day 2, the team covered two villages with a collective population of 5,000 people. 250 people with COVID like symptoms were screened and of them 86 were provided medicines. Sharing the struggles from the ground, Mr Agrawal wrote,

We faced an issue of narrow lanes and a lack of information about the initiative in the villages of Bhadurpur and Dorai. Our brave team of doctors and paramedics were determined and they decided to go door-to-door on foot in this extreme heat and treat the patients.

The plan is to launch nine more buses in the coming days and for the same, DoctCo has initiated a fundraiser. 10 buses will reach out to three crore people in western Uttar Pradesh and other parts of the country like Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh in the next three months, said Mr Agrawal.

Talking about the role of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee in this whole initiative, Manjinder Singh Sirsa, President, DSGMC said,

The idea is to cater to rural India where people don’t have access to basic medical facilities. We will be helping by replenishing medical supplies and assisting in any other way. Recently, we provided 400 oxygen concentrators across India. Three ambulance drivers have reached out to us and said that they want to assist on a shift basis for free. Doctors are extending help. We will be meeting everyone on Saturday to decide the further course of action. Parallely, we are assessing the demand in different regions and accordingly working towards expanding resources.

Also Read: Coronavirus Warrior: Hyderabad Doctor Treats COVID-19 Patients For Just Rs. 10

Manjit Singh Aulakh, member, DSGMC is currently in Tarai, Uttar Pradesh, working on the ground, meeting people and helping them. Mr Aulakh is looking after not only Tarai village but the entire Pilibhit belt. He told NDTV that in the last five days, he has distributed 300 medicine kits and 30 oxygen concentrators he had got from Delhi.

Here people are not getting even basic medicines and those available are being sold at a higher price. Ambulances don’t have adequate medical equipment. In the past few days, there have been instances when I visited a house and randomly checked the oxygen levels of the family. Some people had oxygen saturation levels in 70 (as opposed to the ideal minimum oxygen saturation at 92. That is when I set up oxygen concentrators for them, said Mr Aulakh.

Members of DSGMC are assessing the medical needs of people in rural India and working towards addressing them. Amid the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, which left people running from pillar to post, initiatives like Doctors On Wheels could benefit people living in far-flung areas, away from the avenues to seek help.

Also Read: Langar Sewa At The Doorstep? The Sikh Community Shows The Way As It Provides Food To COVID-19 Patients At Home

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

26,10,35,501Cases
22,18,42,204Active
3,39,98,278Recovered
51,95,019Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 196 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 26,10,35,501 and 51,95,019 have died; 22,18,42,204 are active cases and 3,39,98,278 have recovered as on November 28, 2021 at 3:39 am.

India

3,45,72,523 8,774Cases
1,05,6911,328Active
3,39,98,278 9,481Recovered
4,68,554 621Deaths
In India, there are 3,45,72,523 confirmed cases including 4,68,554 deaths. The number of active cases is 1,05,691 and 3,39,98,278 have recovered as on November 28, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

66,33,612 507

11,905 248

64,80,799 738

1,40,908 17

Kerala

51,29,359 4,741

49,152 957

50,40,528 5,144

39,679 554

Karnataka

29,95,285 322

6,783 143

29,50,306 176

38,196 3

Tamil Nadu

27,24,731 740

8,382 36

26,79,895 765

36,454 11

Andhra Pradesh

20,72,446 248

2,158 5

20,55,856 253

14,432

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,373 5

86 5

16,87,377 9

22,910 1

West Bengal

16,14,152 701

7,820 27

15,86,882 717

19,450 11

Delhi

14,40,834 27

290 11

14,15,448 37

25,096 1

Odisha

10,48,492 264

2,222 6

10,37,864 255

8,406 3

Chhattisgarh

10,06,733 27

326 7

9,92,814 20

13,593

Rajasthan

9,54,741 26

187 13

9,45,599 13

8,955

Gujarat

8,27,382 28

291 17

8,16,999 45

10,092

Madhya Pradesh

7,93,120 23

112 9

7,82,480 14

10,528

Haryana

7,71,654 11

159 1

7,61,441 10

10,054

Bihar

7,26,212 3

39 6

7,16,510 9

9,663

Telangana

6,75,479 160

3,545 11

6,67,946 148

3,988 1

Assam

6,16,435 123

2,720 71

6,07,624 189

6,091 5

Punjab

6,03,190 17

313 22

5,86,284 39

16,593

Jharkhand

3,49,216 20

109 0

3,43,967 20

5,140

Uttarakhand

3,44,183 14

150 6

3,36,626 8

7,407

Jammu And Kashmir

3,36,386 149

1,724 5

3,30,189 141

4,473 3

Himachal Pradesh

2,26,941 82

809 18

2,22,287 97

3,845 3

Goa

1,78,839 40

275 9

1,75,183 31

3,381

Mizoram

1,34,279 358

4,117 110

1,29,672 466

490 2

Puducherry

1,28,860 35

326 5

1,26,662 30

1,872

Manipur

1,25,117 19

673 1

1,22,474 18

1,970 2

Tripura

84,784 13

89 9

83,874 3

821 1

Meghalaya

84,414 20

308 27

82,635 44

1,471 3

Chandigarh

65,443 5

52 4

64,571 1

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,269 9

37 4

54,952 5

280

Sikkim

32,211 4

114 5

31,694 9

403

Nagaland

32,100 4

135 1

31,269 5

696

Ladakh

21,494 27

249 6

21,032 21

213

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,683

1 0

10,678

4

Lakshadweep

10,394

28 1

10,315 1

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,680 2

5 2

7,546

129

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