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A doctor’s experience of volunteering medical relief


Dr Suthan Kaveri might recall clearly the primary few days of the floods, when on the afternoon of December 19, 2021, he visited a flood aid centre arrange in Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Tamil) Ladang Emerald, Taman Sri Muda.

He was there to distribute further shares of face masks that his firm, ePink Well being, had when he got here to the realisation that the centre lacked medical standby.

Being from a telemedicine platform, Dr Suthan knew he might leverage their community of docs and different medical professionals to the advantage of the flood victims.

So, he set to work bringing in his inner groups and blasting messages to medical professionals he knew to come back and assist out.

By the night of December 19 itself, he’d assembled a staff and arrange an emergency area clinic, segregating individuals into inexperienced, yellow, and pink zones primarily based on the emergency of their medical wants.

Picture Credit score: ePink Well being

Making sense of the chaos

The inexperienced zones have been the place flood victims with widespread colds, the flu, coughing, fever, complications, and extra, would get handled. Over within the yellow zone, Dr Suthan and his staff have been tending to these with low blood strain, uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension, and so on.

Having a session with a displaced sufferer / Picture Credit score: ePink Well being

“The flood victims have been caught [in their locations] for 48 hours earlier than being rescued, and their medicines had already been washed away by the flood,” Dr Suthan revealed in an interview with Vulcan Put up.

“For 48 hours, they didn’t take any treatment. So undoubtedly, their blood strain, diabetes, weren’t beneath management.”

Within the 7 days that Dr Suthan and his staff have been current on the centre, he estimated that they gave out about RM50K price of treatment.

These funds got here from donors throughout Malaysia who paid on to pharmacies, who then delivered the treatment to the staff.

For sufferers who have been in additional extreme states than the treatment might management, the staff needed to stabilise them first earlier than transferring them to the closest hospitals.

Dr Suthan shared that there have been a number of children who collapsed from lack of meals and water whereas ready for rescue too / Picture Credit score: ePink Well being

In the meantime, within the pink zone, they needed to resuscitate sufferers who had collapsed. As we cycled by means of Dr Suthan’s recollections of occasions, he recalled a very impactful one they noticed within the pink zone—having to help a mom who was going by means of preterm labour.

Whereas he retold the story, I couldn’t assist however really feel sorry for the mom, imagining the nervousness she may’ve felt from first being shocked over the flash floods, getting displaced, then going into labour in a aid centre stuffed with tons of to 1000’s of different victims.

On the docs’ finish, Dr Suthan relayed the adrenaline rush his staff felt as they labored to stabilise her, all the best way up till she was transported to a safer location to provide delivery.

From mass therapy to accommodate calls

From his recollection, there was by no means a gradual day on the centre, particularly once they needed to be cautious of COVID-19 an infection dangers too.

Picture Credit score: ePink Well being

With so many individuals to take care of and a staff of about 30 to are likely to all, the medical staff discovered themselves spending most of their time on the centre.

Dr Suthan himself said that he spent extra time there than at dwelling for the week, even showering and having his meals there.

By December 25, the centre was closed, however desirous to proceed volunteering, the ePink Well being staff opened a small medical sales space deeper into Taman Sri Muda on December 27. They carried out comparable providers up till New 12 months’s Eve.

“Presently, we nonetheless have a stability of treatment although. So, what we’re doing are a house-to-house screening and free treatment supply,” Dr Suthan shared.

The initiative started on January 7, and can be repeated each weekend for an indefinite period, a minimum of till the opposite clinics in Taman Sri Muda are capable of reopen.

Altogether, he has a staff of about 40 volunteers unfold out throughout the neighbourhood to execute the plan.

On a daily day if the floods hadn’t occurred, ePink Well being would offer telehealth consultations from docs, nutritionists, psychologists, and extra, together with e-pharmacy providers, and home calls upon request.

Picture Credit score: ePink Well being

Through the previous month of floods, nonetheless, volunteering turned the highest precedence particularly within the first devastating week.

Thus, its traditional operations have been placed on maintain momentarily. With the house-to-house screening and drugs deliveries although, Dr Suthan organized them for weekends particularly in order that ePink Well being might proceed as traditional from Mondays to Fridays.

Shifting ahead smarter and higher ready

Primarily based on his expertise at Taman Sri Muda, he had some parting recommendation to share to ensure that us to be higher ready ought to comparable pure disasters (crossing my fingers) occur once more.

“What we will do is digitalise easy medical data, like what are the essential medicines persons are taking,” he famous.

“We will additionally unfold consciousness that if you’re in a flood-prone space and wish to save your IC, passport, please bundle your continual treatment collectively too.” This manner, the problem of treatment getting washed away may be prevented.

If assets allow, medical groups might arrange aid centres upfront too as soon as the nation has been warned about impending flash floods or comparable by MetMalaysia.

As for the way ePink Well being and comparable digital healthcare firms can additional contribute on this area, Dr Suthan mentioned that they’d been accumulating information of the flood victims they handled.

“We’ve dissected them in keeping with the severity, sort of ailments, and any acute situations that arose as a result of floods.”

The ePink Well being staff with Dr Noor Hisham / Picture Credit score: ePink Well being

“Primarily based on these, we will share the info with KKM to provide you with a correct plan to arrange and cater higher to these particular situations ought to severe floods occur once more,” he mentioned.

For instance, if the info reveals that there have been numerous chronically diabetic sufferers who misplaced their medicines within the current floods, for any future disasters, such treatment could possibly be ready upfront for deployment to aid centres.

In all, what I garnered from talking to Dr Suthan was that the expertise, information, and manpower from the personal healthcare sector are all available. We simply have to harness them higher.

  • Learn extra flood-related content material right here.

Featured Picture Credit score: Dr Suthan Kaveri, ePink Well being





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