The station-clinic was opened last Sunday in Kannur and saw 12 children being brought for treatment that day itself.

This police station in Kerala transforms into a childrens clinic on Sundays
news Human Interest Tuesday, January 16, 2018 - 18:50

From Monday to Saturday, it is business as usual at the Kannur Town police station. On Sunday, however, it transforms itself into a warm and welcoming paediatric centre.

The police station will double as a free clinic for children every Sunday from 10 am to 1 pm.

The initiative is the brain child of circle inspector TK Retnakumar of Kannur Town police station, which is one of the six stations selected as a ‘Child-Friendly Unit’ by the state government.

“In Kannur town, many hospitals do not have functioning paediatric outpatient wings, especially on Sundays. So if there is an emergency, the parents will have to take their children to casualty and consult the duty doctor there. I conceived the idea of a station-clinic on Sundays as I felt the need to bridge this gap in paediatric care in the town,” Retnakumar said to TNM.

The station also plans to provide free medicines from nearby pharmacies to visiting patients.

“Offering free medicines has its practical difficulties as we should also hire a pharmacist to distribute them and have a tiny medical store within the station. However, we are still figuring how to work this out,” he said.

The project is supported by the Indian Academy of Paediatrics, which has assigned 14 paediatricians who will take turns to visit the clinic and treat children.

“We inaugurated the clinic last Sunday and saw 12 children being brought to the station by parents that day itself. The doctor, MJ Nandakumar of Kannur’s Koyili Hospital, saw to them. One of the children was running a high fever and was immediately moved to a nearby hospital,” he said.

The clinic is being run in an annexe room for children built with the Rs 5 lakh granted by the state government to each of the six ‘Child-Friendly Units’ in the state.

The government set up paediatric rooms in these stations aiming to promote overall child welfare and development.

“It was started as counselling centres for juveniles, providing them with legal aid and other help. It is also a fully functional child-friendly room with a toilet, a bed, toys, children’s books and other arrangements to put them at ease. Since we already had the room, we thought, why not? Just add an extra service and turn it into a clinic,” Retnakumar said.

So far, Kannur Town Station is the only one in the state with the paediatric care facility. However, Retnakumar hopes that other stations will soon follow suit.