A canopy of lush green trees provided temporary relief from the hot summer sun as our team from the New Generation Trust (NGT) set up a Medical Camp late one afternoon recently. We wanted to support people living on the roadside in one particular area of Delhi. These were families we had met earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic when we had given out food rations, followed by regular visits to get to know them more. While we sometimes gave medical care on these visits, we knew that arranging for doctors to be on hand could greatly help. We selected a spot near two different settlements, hoping to make ourselves more accessible for people of different communities.
For that evening, the shady area under the trees became a Triage and Consultation Area for the two doctors who graciously volunteered their time. We used NGT’s Mobile Clinic from our Jesiah project as a dispensary to give out medicines prescribed by the doctors.
By 5 pm we saw a steady stream of people lining up to register to meet with the doctors. Many of the patients were children. People came with complaints of gastritis, skin rashes, fungal infections, and pigmentation problems. Some had wounds on their feet which needed attention. Whether due to poverty, lack of understanding about available systems, caution due to negative experiences in the past, or the desperation of daily survival, for one reason or another people had not yet sought the medical help they needed.
An older man came with extreme stomach pain, which was remedied by simple medicines. After he walked home and took the medicines, he later returned, all smiles, to thank the team for helping him to feel so much better.
Some young men pulled one of our male team members aside and shared that they felt hesitant to share their medical concerns with the female doctors on site. When it was their turn to be seen by the doctors, our team member walked over with them to bridge the gap.
One of our project leaders chatted with women waiting in line, listening to their concerns. Most mothers expressed a desire for their children to receive tuition to help with their schooling. NGT’s Sahaitha team provides non-formal educational support to at-risk women and children, so we will explore how we might assist the people educationally in this neighbourhood in the future.
NGT is grateful for Delhi police personnel who checked in during the Camp to make sure everything stayed in order. We appreciate that those who came for treatment waited patiently for their turns. We thank the busy doctors who set aside the day to work with us to help the people of this neighbourhood. We are also following up with those patients who needed ongoing treatment beyond what could be done in one sitting.
In the coming months we hope to continue Medical Camps periodically. We will also encourage families to take their children to a nearby dispensary to receive immunisations, as we’ve come to see that most families have not kept these up-to-date.
Jesiah is a project of the New Generation Trust.
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