To ensure sorely needed medicare
in quake-ravaged Gujarat, a team of doctors from the
St John's Medical College & Hospital, Bangalore,
left for Ahmedabad on January 29 with 1.6 tonnes of
medical supplies based on the who list of essential
drugs for disaster relief. Sponsored by care today,
the 10-member team comprised, among others, an emergency
intervention unit that included two surgeons, an anaesthetist
and a nurse.
In collaboration with the Kutch
Navnirman Abhiyan, a coalition of NGOs working in the
region, the team set up roadside clinics at several
places in Rapar. It then moved on to Bhachau, where
an army tent-provided by the Army Field Hospital-was
used as an operation theatre. With torchlights as the
only source of lighting, as many as 32 surgeries were
conducted every day.
The number of OPD patients varied
from 300 to 400 every day with over 70 per cent comprising
women and children. Most patients were diagnosed with
orthopaedic problems while about 20 per cent suffered
from chronic problems, requiring revision procedures
at a later date. Open wounds and fractures were the
most common. From Bhachau the team moved towards the
border to carry on similar work. Putting in 14-18 hours
a day, the team was able to cater to a large number
of patients in a week's time.
The area is likely to see an
outbreak of acute respiratory infections due to lack
of shelter and sanitation.
Meanwhile, the St John's Disaster
Relief & Training Cell has offered medical services
(advisory and operational) to all the NGOs in the area
working with the Kutch Navnirman Abhiyan and its partners.