On 9.8.14 a rural medical camp was organised in my village Shantapur India by my family with no involvement of sponsors or NGOs.My sister (nurse) , an auxiliary nurse,myself and non-medical people as support staff were present. My sister brought disposable needles and syringes, stethoscope and BP apparatus. I bought paracetamol, antimalarial, anti-inflammatory tabs, skin ointment and, injections and ORS.
The previous night, the village Kothwal announced by his drum that there will be a free medical camp.The news spread to the neighboring villages as well. The village Sarpanch opened the camp with lighting of the Deepam. He allowed the gram panchayat office to conduct the camp. I was alone and I have not done any general practice for some time. Needless to say I was bit apprehensive. My brother was doing the registration of the patients. The response would be so positive which really surprised me.With a 15 minute break, I saw patients from 11-7pm. The sewing machine board was my consulting table.
There was no cot, electricity or fan . As daylight went down I had to refuse to see a few patients which sad to say caused some village folks to be disappointed..The patients were from various disciplines; pediatrics-geriatrics medicine and surgery. I really can’t imagine I was able to last the whole day in the hot weather. I with help of others saw close to 300 patients.. Most of them were treated and some required referral service to other towns and others I made referrals for them to go to Hyderabad. I really thank God for giving me opportunity to care for these people and I am astounded with my ability to remember medicine from my rural service(1989-91).
The Sarpanch has asked us to conduct this camp on regular basis. I really think Johnites who do rural service and those still serving are legends. . I would urge anyone at anytime to do this kind of work as the community needs our help. If any specialists interested would like to join me to conduct camp next year, please let me know. Many patients require a good listening ear, some a sincere examination and some need good advice and medication. This doesn’t cost you much.I left the village with great professional satisfaction. My sister visits the village but I am also thinking of a follow up visit soon.
Vasanth Rao 1982 Anesthesiologist Australia