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‘Hospital Aapke Dwar’ Taking Healthcare to People’s Doorsteps in Remote Arunachal, Near the India-Myanmar Border

In the remote areas of Changlang district in Arunachal Pradesh, a team of doctors, including specialists, arrive routinely to check people for ailments. The team camps in those areas for two days and carries with them all paraphernalia to diagnose, treat and even carry out minor surgeries. This is being done under an initiative called ‘Hospital Aapke Dwar’ launched by the District Collector of Changlang, 2018-batch IAS officer of AGMUT cadre, Sunny K. Singh.

In the remote areas of Changlang district in Arunachal Pradesh, where people cannot easily reach hospitals for treatment because of the lack of motorable roads, the district administration is taking the hospital to the people under an initiative called, ‘Hospital Aapke Dwar’ (Hospital at Your Doorstep). This thoughtful initiative is the brainchild of the District Collector, Mr. Sunny K. Singh, IAS.

A medical team of specialists carrying equipment for ECG, ultrasound, CBC (complete blood count) and ENT tests, etc., camps for two days in these areas and even conducts minor surgeries. Earlier, locals had to use makeshift stretchers to take patients to the nearest primary health centres.

Indian Masterminds interacted with the 2018-batch IAS officer of AGMUT cadre Sunny K. Singh, the DC of Changlang, to get details about this initiative.

IAS Sunny K Singh

HOSPITAL AAPKE DWAR

In Changlang district, there are many remote areas between the mountains where there are no roads. Vijaynagar is one such area, where about eight thousand people live, but there is no proper road. So, people cannot easily reach the hospital for treatment. Only if someone’s life is in danger, then maybe he might go to the hospital, and the elderly people cannot go even then.

It takes about 7 to 8 hours to reach the city hospital. And this is out of question during the monsoon days. Taking all this into consideration, Mr. Singh started the ‘Hospital Aapke Dwar’ (Hospital at Your Doorstep) initiative. So far, two camps have been organised this winter. The plan is to organise altogether eight camps in a year.

Mr. Singh said, “Our team camps in the remote areas, does all the tests, and diagnoses people’s illness. Our responsibility does not just ends there. Once a disease has been diagnosed, we ensure the patient gets proper treatment.”

CRITICAL CASES AIRLIFTED TO CITY

So, the initiative is not just limited to identifying problems, but it also solves the problems, and the administration has to really work hard for this. People throng the camps when they come to know that a team of doctors is camping in their area. The doctors have a hard time going about diagnosing diseases and also treating them on the site. For critical health problems requiring advanced care, the patients are airlifted to the nearest city in small groups.

Explaining it further, Mr. Sigh said, “Suppose someone is paralyzed, or someone has a heart disease or cataract, we get them airlifted to the city in groups and get them treated. The entire treatment is free. Even the medicines are free.”

RECENT CAMP

Recently, a Mega Health Camp was jointly organized at Gandhigram and Vijoynagar by the District Administration and the District Health Society Changlang. The team comprised of 20 doctors including eye specialist, child specialist, medicine specialist, dentist and 30 other support staff. Free of cost medicines were provided to all the patients. A total of 317 patients at Gandhigram and 323 patients at Vijoynagar benefited from the programme. Awareness on Dulari Kanya, CMAAY, immunization, Covid vaccination, and MR vaccination were also given to the people. The 19 Assam Rifles BCoy Vijoynagar also joined the camp.

Mr. Singh said, “The doctors identified 15-20 cataract patients. Some patients were bedridden, so the doctors examined them at their houses and gave them medicines. The family members were also counseled. The villagers were very happy that so many doctors went together to take care of their health. Some had never availed any healthcare services before. In fact, there were some who saw doctors for the first time in their life!”

HOSPITAL ON WHEELS

Indeed, it was literally a hospital on wheels that meandered into Gandhigram in the remote Vijaynagar circle of India’s easternmost Changlang district in Arunachal Pradesh.

The Vijaynagar circle, located on the Myanmar border, remained cut off from the rest of the world for decades together due to communication bottlenecks. Chopper was the only mode of transport. Now, there is a 157 km road from the nearest Miao town to Vijaynagar. It traverses the Namdapha National Park and Tiger Reserve.

Gandhigram, located some 135 km away from Miao, has just one health sub-centre, manned by a nurse. Not many locals visit it, for they rely on traditional medication. The few who do, are examined by the nurse, who also provides them with medication.

Mr. Singh rightly said, “This initiative is meant for such people only, who are living in remote areas without proper roads. Since, it is difficult for them to reach a hospital, we are taking the hospital itself to them.”

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