In remote villages, providing proper healthcare services continues to remain a challenge in modern India. One reason India’s HDI (Human Development Index) is low is because of the absence of quality healthcare services in rural areas. India, after all, has the world’s largest number of people living in rural areas.
In order to address this issue, the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences trained healthcare workers, who provide early diagnostic and preventive care in the villages. The health workers are often married women and sometimes they have not even attended college. But they are beginning to work confidently in Amma’s villages, to help tackle health care related problems.
Health workers can be most effective if mentored by a doctor who can visit the village at least once a month. Recently, in our village in Uttar Pradesh, Sarai Nuruddinpur, Dr. Ashutosh and Dr. Seema conducted a 7-hour OPD on June 5, 2016. A total of 145 patients were registered. Hemoglobin tests were conducted for children and women. The health workers will continue with the follow-up work until the doctors can come back again.
Service is what life means to this doctor couple. For years, Dr. Ashutosh and Dr. Seema have been rendering their expertise in the field of medicine by screening the poor free of cost in Faizabad district of Uttar Pradesh, where they live. This couple was nursing the desire to serve in one of Amma’s villages for the longest time. Even though they had to travel several hours to get to Allahabad, they are grateful for having had the opportunity. Dr. Ashutosh and Dr. Seema consider serving the poor an offering to their spiritual guru Mata Amritanandamayi Devi.
For Dr. Ashutosh, Amma has been a godly figure since childhood. His parents were ardent devotees and hence he chose the Amrita Institute of Medical Science for his graduation. During his medical school days, Dr. Ashutosh was an active volunteer of Amala Bharatam Campaigns of the Mata Amritanandamayi Math. After graduating from AMRITA, he pursued his post-graduation in Family Medicine from CMC Vellore. The urge to serve the poor kept him motivated and he started various awareness campaigns on lifestyle diseases in Lucknow. Dr. Seema also chipped in and helped him with his work.
Sarai Nuruddinpur, Amma’s village, is not very close to where they live. Even if they are not able to go every month, they plan to return once in at least two or three months. “Most of the patients we examined were suffering from stomach pain, knee pain, cough, eye and ear infections and fatigue. Medicines were distributed to them and a few cases were referred to the Government Medical College for advanced treatment. Alarmingly, we found out that the hemoglobin level of children was below 10. Iron tablets were distributed to them to increase the HB level. Nine pregnant women also came for the screening and Dr. Seema gave them a class about pre-pregnancy care,” said Dr. Ashutosh.
“We wish to organize many more such clinics for the poor, thus spreading Amma’s doctrine of helping the needy,” summed up Dr. Ashutosh and Dr. Seema.