KOLLAM: Sajjad Hussain of flood-hit Jammu and Kashmir could say only a few words as the medical relief mission of Mata Amritanandamayi Math (MAM) left the state after a month-long work. “On behalf of all villagers, our sincere thanks to Amma,” said the rustic from Zalpora village who never expected a set of doctors from Kerala to treat not only his family members but that of his cattle as well.
The relief mission has been of help to nearly 6,000 people hit by the September tragedy owing to unprecedented rains and resultant flooding of Jhelum river, which ravaged the state, according to a release.
Earlier this month, two MAM mobile units carrying health and relief materials along with 14 doctors, besides paramedical staff, toured 12 places in the worst-affected Bandipore and Badgam districts in a fortnight-long exercise. The team began their work a day after they reached Srinagar on October 9.
Prominent among the places where the team held medical camps in the Valley include Ashtangoo, Kulhama, Laharwalpora, Sumbal, Naugam, Zalpora, Naid Khai, Hajin and Magam.
In addition to consultation, the Math distributed free medicines as well as services through its mobile medical facilities for lab tests, ultrasounds, ECG and X-ray.
The crew even facilitated two child deliveries, one of them a caesarian case. The doctors who carried out operations in the Valley were from general medicine and surgery, community medicine, gastro-intestinal surgery, paediatrics, emergency medicine, neuro surgery, dental science and gynaecology. A veterinary doctor was also part of the team.
The centrally air-conditioned telemedicine unit was equipped with satellite-based video conferencing facility.
The supporting emergency ambulance unit was equipped with ICU and cardiac care facilities, trained medical team and adequate medicines.
The signal output from various devices could be transmitted to Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences Hospital in Kochi for expert opinion. Dr Puneet Dhar, who led the MAM medical mission, noted that common diseases plaguing the disaster-hit regions included skin ailments such as scabies, allergies, gastroenteritis, worm infestations, respiratory infections and pain in the backbone and joints, besides hypertension and depression.
“We also came across people having diseases that are unrelated to the floods. They included gallstones, diabetes, urinary disorders, dyspepsia and sexual disorders,” he said.
“We tried to give them as much cure as we could simultaneously,” Puneet Dhar said. The Rs 25-crore facility, equipped with two beds, ultra sonography, X-ray radiography, ventilator, minor operation theatre, delivery room, electro cardiography, light microscopy, digital photography and bio-chemical testing with a semi-auto analyser for Hepatitis-B and rat fever was flagged off from Delhi by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on October 6. Mata Amritanandamayi Math (MAM) also distributed medicines to a low-immunity livestock. The doctors noted that decrease in immunity has made the animals more prone to parasites and infections.
“The floods led to loss of animal feed, thereby leading to starvation and high stress level in the animals,” a spokesperson said.
As a counter-measure, the team distributed high-quality mineral mixture to around 500 animals, including cows, buffaloes, sheep and horses. De-worming drugs were provided to stop parasitic infections. Some sheep and goats were treated for wounds and minor injuries.
Some were also examined for gynaecological problems and appropriate advice was given to the owners. Ectoparasiticidal drugs were administered to tick-infected animals. Many were treated for skin problems as well.
Recently, a MAM delegation led by Nijamrita Chaitanya and Brahmachari Amit, met Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and conveyed the Math’s willingness to reconstruct houses in the Valley. They also briefed Omar about MAM’s activities in the Valley.