Most post-flood medical camps are being run by non-profit organisations and volunteer-based doctors’ associations.

A man taking treatment at a clinic where doctors wear protective gear against coronavirusImage For Representation
news Health Tuesday, October 27, 2020 - 19:50

Water-borne diseases are being reported at medical camps in flood-affected localities in Hyderabad. Doctors at the camps say that fever and skin diseases due to prolonged exposure to water are being reported from among the flood victims. They also say that the threat of COVID-19 cases also looms large among the community.

Most medical camps for the flood-affected people are being run by non-profit organisations and volunteer-based doctors’ associations. “Today also we held a camp at Tolichowki Nadeem colony,” says Mohammad Rashaduddin, City president, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Hyderabad. “We are in touch with several doctor groups and are running these camps since the last one week,” he added.

Dr Atif Ismail, a pulmonologist, is working with Doctors Association for Relief and Education (DARE) in association with Jamaat-e-Islami Hind. “The people who have been badly affected by the floods are coming with fever, body pain, general weakness, diarrhoea, abdominal pains. There are chances for fungal infections in the lower limbs because of prolonged exposure to water,” he said, adding that the spread of COVID-19 also poses a threat to the people. “We don't know what will be the consequences, but there is a looming threat.”

DARE in Hyderabad created a Google document, recruiting paramedics, doctors, and allied professionals as volunteers. “We have some 58 doctors who are volunteering depending on their availability,” the doctor adds. For the past one week, camps have been held at Amberpet, Malakpet, Jubail colony, Falaknuma, Tolichowki, Chandrayangutta areas.

“Many of the diseases being reported are minor,” says Atif, adding that those with chronic diseases do not have access to their previous medical records. “Many don't know the name of their medicines, their prescriptions are lost. We have advised them to get back to their primary care physician as soon as possible and get back on treatment,”. The doctor hopes that in the local Public Health Centres (PHCs), records of some of the patients are not lost due to floods. “We are not carrying out medical investigations, we are trying to screen and direct people to the nearest PHC which is functional,” he adds.

Details on how many PHCs are presently functional at the flood-affected Old City are scant, and the Hyderabad District Medical Health Officer was unavailable for comment.

Ayiesha Begum, an ASHA worker from Rein Bazar, said, “We have so far received instructions to go door to door to deliver chlorine tablets and ORS due to the rains. We are also urging people with flu-like symptoms to get tested for malaria, dengue and COVID-19.”