Taking Healthcare to the Masses, the AFMC Way
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01 January 2009
Kasurdi village in Daund taluka is a classic example of how a strong initiative from a medical college can positively impact health care of the villagers and turn the place into a model village. This is exactly what the Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, achieved when it adopted Kasurdi and supplemented the existing health services, a few years ago. “Besides uplifting the health–care facilities in the village, we made it a point to utilise the base of the village as a ‘Rural health practise area’, to give medical students a rural orientation which would help them understand the actual needs of a village,” said lieutenant colonel Abhijit Rudra, spokesperson of AFMC.
This unique health–care initiative is being undertaken by the department of preventive and social medicine (DPSM), AFMC. It involves active participation by undergraduate medical cadets and postgraduate residents.
To being with, a survey was conducted in the village to put together details about the population and prevailing diseases. “Based on these findings, DPSM has been conducting a morbidity (disease treatment) clinic in the village at weekly intervals since 2005,” said Rudra. Specialist referral services, as and when required, have been provided by other departments of the AFMC through civil OPD, Command Hospital, Pune.
“So far, around 76 patients have benefited from the specialist and super specialist services of AFMC,” he said.
Speaking about other health measures initiated at Kasurdi, Rudra said, “A medical–cum–eye camp was conducted here in collaboration with the staff of the Primary Health Centre (PHC), Yavat. Besides providing OPD services, medical examination of children, knowledge about vitamin A supplements and health education was incorporated as components of the camp.”
“Around 22 patients were later operated upon for cataract, with introduction of intra–ocular lens, free of cost. This was jointly sponsored by Lion’s Club and Deep Griha Society which runs an orphanage at Kasurdi,” said Rudra. Deep Griha Society has been providing logistical assistance to the AFMC. Stressing on several health promotional activities conducted by AFMC, lieutenant general Shivakumar Sharma, commandant AFMC, said, “Representatives of the village have been educated on issues like correct methodology of chlorinating of central water source and monitoring of safe water. Similarly, a lice survey with concurrent treatment of all girls suffering from lice and their family members has also been conducted at regular intervals.”
Besides, establishments of efficient record keeping of the morbidity clinic with family–based records, medical examination of schoolchildren as part of the school–health programme have also been undertaken at the village.
Sharma added, “As part of the ongoing initiative, the AFMC is committed to taking several measures. These include holding medical camps for women to detect and treat reproductive tract infections and pre–cancerous lesions, eyediseases, apart from continuing with the weekly clinic.”