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Healthcare on wheels for cyclone-hit rural communities in West Bengal

SEEDS (Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society), a leading humanitarian organisation and Grace Cancer Foundation have come together to start the initiative, #Healthcareonwheels. The two organisations are dedicated to provide medical services to those affected by a wave of sequential disasters in 24 North Paraganas, 24 South Parganas and East Medinipur districts of West Bengal.
A dedicated of team of doctors and health care volunteers has been assigned for the initiative. They will be traveling to these locations on a bus as a part of Cyclone Amphan response. The mobile bus has equipment for conducting comprehensive cancer screening and diagnosis. It is also equipped with advanced facilities for x-ray, ultrasound, bone and blood tests to provide better diagnostics than primary healthcare centres. The medical bus will also provide telemedicine facilities where expert doctors from Hyderabad will be available based on network availability locally.

Grace Foundation health camp

Dr Anshu Sharma, Co-Founder, SEEDS, said, “We are committed to reaching out to the maximum number of people who are the most vulnerable in these difficult times of crisis. We are glad to have come together with Grace Foundation to turn this idea into reality and provide healthcare assistance to communities while on the move.”
The initiative aims to reach out to the most vulnerable far-flung communities who are struggling with the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the recent Cyclone Amphan. #Healthcareonwheels began on June 8, 2020 and went to different villages in these districts until June 20, providing free medicines and doctor consultations to the affected people.
One of the doctors, Dr Motika Abhishek while sharing his experience from the ground, said,  “We have been here for more than 10 days now and every moment we spend with the community members here leaves us touched, full of gratitude and with satisfaction of being able to help to those struggling to make their ends meet.”
Rajiv Lal, Principal Advisor, Grace Foundation said, “We have conducted 12 medical camps in these districts as the disaster has not only taken away people’s homes but also exposed them to highly contagious diseases. We are happy to have collaborated with SEEDS for this unique initiative and were able to monitor the health of people in these remote areas, diagnose them and administer medication where needed.”
Increasing active cases of Covid-19, followed by cyclone Amphan, had a devastating effect on rural communities in the interior regions of West Bengal. While the relief effort continues on the ground, it is necessary to create long-term resilience among vulnerable communities to #BuildBackBetter. During such uncertain times, where people are not sure whether to seek refuge or to pay heed to their body ailments, the mobile bus service equipped with medication, facilities and qualified doctors will help in treating people and providing much-needed care.
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