THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In an effort to ensure proper medical care for the elderly in the district amid the pandemic, Kerala State Social Security Mission (KSSSM) has constituted mobile medical teams to provide home consultation to senior citizens. As per a recent survey conducted by Anganwadi workers, there are approximately 3.7 lakh elderly persons in Thiruvananthapuram.According to authorities, the initiative comes at a crucial time as Covid-19 cases may peak in the state by October making the elderly people prone to the virus infection. Recently, Health Minister K K Shailaja had also stated that the mortality rate may go up, calling for urgent attention to the wellbeing of the elderly in the state.
In the wake of the impending situation, the KSSSM has assigned as many as eight mobile medical teams in the district. As part of the initiative, the mission has launched a Grand Care Call Centre. Similar initiatives in other districts including Ernakulam and Malappuram have been receiving encouraging response.
District coordinator of KSSSM Savitha V Raj told TNIE that higher secondary teachers with sociology, psychology and social work backgrounds have been recruited to run the call centre. She added that over 20 students have also joined as volunteers.
“The call centre would be operating as a platform to coordinate with various other departments. The staff members work in four shifts with each shift comprising 10 members. They have made hundreds of calls already. The staffers call the elderly and enquire about their mental and physical health. We started operations three days back and around 150 people have been shortlisted for follow-up calls. Medical officers of the Vayomithram scheme will call these people and evaluate their health and a team would visit them if necessary,” said Savitha.
A mobile team comprising a general physician and staff nurse began home consultation on Friday. “We will be providing speciality consultation for those in need via e-sanjeevani, the tele-consultation programme of the state government. We are planning to give free medicines for at least a month following consultation. Each volunteer is expected to call a minimum of 100 people per day. It will take around three months to cover all seniors in the state,” she said.
As per reports, the majority of people who requested medical aid reside outside the corporation limits. “The elderly population in rural areas are the worst hit. Many of them are unable to get treatment because of the pandemic situation. Many are sharing other concerns too. Some are homeless. We will be coordinating with other departments to ensure that their issues get addressed,” said Savitha.