A decade of ‘floating’ medical services in Kochi

Tomy Nedumparambil, who was a nursing assistant at Kalanthakadu primary health centre, joined the floating dispensary in Maradu on its first day — May 27, 2011. 

Published: 02nd September 2021 07:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd September 2021 07:01 AM   |  A+A-

The floating dispensary functioning at Maradu municipality

By Express News Service

KOCHI: Tomy Nedumparambil, who was a nursing assistant at Kalanthakadu primary health centre, joined the floating dispensary in Maradu on its first day — May 27, 2011. Now, despite being retired, he still serves there. A brainchild of Maradu municipality’s former chairman T K Devarajan, the floating dispensary was introduced after receiving complaints from the elderly in the municipality about being deprived of medical facilities. 

“The dispensary functions from Monday to Saturday between 10am and 3pm at boat jetties on a rotational basis. The dispensary now has a doctor, nurse, nursing assistant, lab technician, and ASHA workers and it functions as a health centre,” said Devarajan. The dispensary reaches Nettoor, Maradu Moothedam, and Kettezhethumkadavu on Mondays, Kundannoor on Tuesday, Cheppanam on Wednesday, Kizhakke Chathamma on Thursday, Maradu Choolackal Kadavu on Friday, and Cheppanam Bandu on Saturday. 

“We have all the primary facilities except in-patient treatment at the floating dispensary. Though the project was started by Maradu municipality, it serves areas of Kumbalam panchayat as well. During the pandemic, when medical care has been scarce, it has been really helpful for people living on the coast,” he said.

On some days, the dispensary gets around 50 to 80 visitors. Sometimes, the number goes up to 100 or 120. People struggling with lifestyle diseases in need of regular check-ups are the standard set of visitors at the dispensary and come to test for diabetes, haemoglobin count, blood pressure, cholesterol and urine.

“Medicines are supplied from Valanthakkad PHC. Extra medicines are provided by the municipality. A team from the Centre also visited the dispensary once and attached a new project, Care on Waves, to it. They also provided a lab facility for the boat,” said Tomy.

For over 10 years, the floating dispensary has been serving as a dependable healthcare facility for financially backward people those living on the coast


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