Joda: In the tribal hamlets of Joda healthcare services still remain inaccessible. At Tata Steel Foundation (TSF), the health team has ensured that the deficit of medical treatment among rural communities is capped through the incessant call to duty by its ecosystem of Mobile Medical Unit (MMU).
The primary health centre services provided by the government are static by its nature of operations. The local people in the villages of Jajang, Jalahari, Palsa, Khondbond, Guruda, Jalahari, Joribahal and Balda are mostly dependent on the MMUs for medical consultations.
The services include free diagnosis and checkup, treatment, counselling, health, education and awareness to villagers and students. Patient details are registered and clinical parameters are captured, and medical consultation is subsequently provided. Besides, the team also ensures that the referral cases get treatment at the nearest Tata Steel hospital within the shortest time possible.
Experts say that the major categories of disease patterns include upper respiratory tract infections, common cold, fever and body ache besides and Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), followed by skin and paediatric issues.
“There have been instances where the patient had no idea about the problem that they were facing. Many were also reluctant to take help from the doctors but we did a number of counselling sessions to make them understand the need for medication,” said Dr Anmol Tigga who has been a part of the MMU project since 2014.
The MMU services are also provided in parts of the Joda municipality. In the last four years, the services reached more than 63000 people in the municipality area.
The recent COVID-19 pandemic had significantly added to the healthcare woes with governments calling for lockdowns across the country. While it was difficult to provide the MMU services, medical consultations were provided online by doctors.
“During the lockdown, things had gone worse. So, access to doctors was the need of the hour and we tried to provide them online solutions. We received around 10 calls daily on an average,” added Dr Tigga. It may be noted here that online consultations were provided for more than six months during the pandemic.
Apart from the Mobile Medical Units, a number of specialised and general health camps are also organised regularly in peripheral villages.