Everyday we find road accidents and many other emergencies leading to loss of life and property which is much higher than the loss due to war or internal terrorists attack. There is a method to save over a million lives every year and prevent the associated damages, which has been put into practice in Andhra Pradesh. This Emergency Management and Research System in Hyderabad deals with various types of emergencies such as road traffic accidents, birth related emergencies, criminal emergency and fire related emergency. They have developed a system which integrates multiple agencies to provide quick and comprehensive emergency response. The starting for the emergency process begins with a call to a toll free number 108 either from a fixed or a mobile phone. This enables timely arrival of an ambulance equipped with emergency first aid equipment and the patient to be taken to the nearest medical aid centre. This programme has been launched in all the 23 districts of Andhra Pradesh including rural areas and is equipped with 380 ambulances. To date over 11,500 precious lives have been saved and the average response time realized between receiving a call and reaching a hospital has been reduced to 36 minutes. The facility is available to all the citizens for on a 24 hour seven day week basis. This programme is also being launched in some other states. This programme is required to be extended to all the States and the Union Territories in the country. That will enable reception of about one million calls per day and saving of one million lives a year.
The nation needs a national emergency service mission to save the lives of over one million people a year. A partnership for the mission has to come from the government, healthcare centres, corporate in both public and private sector, police and district authorities and societal organisations. Journalists can play a very important role in realizing this mission by effectively articulating all aspects suitably to all the Stake holders of the programme and quantifying the benefits which can accrue to the society.
Copyright@www.abdulkalam.com. This is an article written by former President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam.