Slumdoctor project visits Punjab

A team of healthcare professionals from the UK provided free life-saving treatment to more than 8,000 people in a small village in the state of Punjab. The 30-man team, which included 15 doctors and 5 audiologists, ran a camp from 25 to 27 March 2011, based at a school in the village of Phillaur, working up to 12 hours a day.

Dr. Vijay Bangar, Consultant Diabeteologist, one of the organisers of the camp and Director of Slumdoctor Project said “Thousands of people travelled on foot up to 100km to our medical camp to be seen. This ranged from children to the very elderly. Nurses and translators from the UK and India, were helping. Our remit was to see every person that came through our doors. No one was turned away. We saw some very poorly patients, some of whom required urgent hospital treatments. We purchased drugs locally and dispensed them as required. We arranged for operations to be carried out at a local charity hospital. We were overwhelmed by the love and respect from these people some of whom had nothing, but were grateful for the help we gave them.”

Approximately 8,000 patients seen during the three days. Dr Bangar, who has now been running the camp for seven years, added: “I am very grateful to all the volunteers who gave up their valuable time, and spent a considerable amount of money travelling to India, and paying for their own accommodation. I am also grateful to all of the volunteers in India , and the Indian charities involved. You see patients with a complete spectrum of disease, from conditions that can be treated costing pennies, with life changing results. There are also complex conditions, requiring much investigation to diagnose. I remember seeing a very sick little boy who was malnourished and underweight with a rare blood disorder that had taken the lives of his two elder siblings. His younger sister was also afflicted with the same condition but their parents could not afford for treatment. We managed to secure hospital admission for both these siblings and hope they have a chance of survival.  We can make life changing interventions. Helping others and making a difference I find very humbling and rewarding. One thing it definitely does, it makes me grateful for health care we have in the UK .”

The next camp is planned from Friday 23 to Sunday 25 of March 2012.

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