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A leading neurologist hailing from Andhra Pradesh has been taking her healthcare services to the remotest areas of the state with the motto of ‘We reach, We teach, We treat’. Navigating through the narrow lanes of villages in her medical van has now become a part of Dr Bindu Menon’s monthly routine. With the fully equipped van, she not just treats patients with neurological disorders but also spreads awareness amid them about the same.
The lack of healthcare services in rural areas is one of the biggest problems faced by our country today. Keeping this as foreground, she started Dr Bindu Menon Foundation as a not for profit initiative in order to reach poor patients in rural areas for whom even regular medicines are considered ‘luxury’. With the support of her team members and her genuine efforts, she started ‘Neurology on Wheels’ transporting medical services in a small van to distant or remote parts where medical services are scanty. Till now, she has nearly covered 23 villages and provided free treatment to hundreds of patients.
Started in 2015 with the mission of treating patients in rural areas, it is a first time project in the country for providing specialized neurological services in the remotest parts. Dr Bindu could be spotted near the medical van, usually on Sundays, along with her team of volunteers attending her patients. A village is identified by random selection by the foundation before planning their visit. Later, the team visits the village with the village head to give intimidation about the camp in advance. The awareness programme includes information related to stroke risks factors; recognition of symptoms and the role of regular compliance of medicines for treatment. Later free medical camp is held where screening and detection of hypertension, diabetes and stroke is done at the end of and the patients are distributed medicines.
The lack of healthcare facilities in remote areas is one of the major problems faced by our country today.To tackle this, Dr Bindu Menon started her project 'Neurology on wheels', one of its kind in India, to take her medical services to the remotest villages of Andhra Pradesh in a van.
The Logical Indian ಅವರಿಂದ ಈ ದಿನದಂದು ಪೋಸ್ಟ್ ಮಾಡಲಾಗಿದೆ ಬುಧವಾರ, ಡಿಸೆಂಬರ್ 18, 2019
In a conversation with The Logical Indian, Dr Bindu Menon shares, “Since my college days in Bhopal, I have been intrigued with the nuances of neurological disorders and I had a keen interest in this specialized branch. It always pained me to see patients suffering from epilepsy, stroke and similar disorders due to the lack of timely treatment and proper knowledge. Back then, I always wanted to do something to improve the dismal healthcare scenario and I’m now taking steps in the same direction with ‘Neurology on Wheels’. Also, the stigma surrounding seizures especially in villages is what I would want to remove in the rural folks with my work.”
Contrary to the popular notion that most girls opt for ‘Gynecology’ as their specialization, Dr Bindu Menon has always wanted to break this stereotype and she is living up to it with her initiative. She adds that the warm welcome which she receives from her patients during her visits keeps her coming back to the villages. She remains grateful to her team members, volunteers and considers them to be the biggest support system in her journey. Since their project caters rural population, the co-operation that she receives from the village head for smoothly conducting the camps is crucial and she acknowledges the support she has received from them so far.
Talking with The Logical Indian about healthcare scenario in rural areas, she says, “The awareness about stroke and epilepsy is very poor in villages. There is still a trend towards opting for native medicine when it comes to its treatment. Prevention of stroke is the most effective means for reducing the burden of this illness. During the camps, patients with stroke and epilepsy who are even not on treatment are also counseled. One of the hurdles faced further by the patient include what he should do after the medicines get over. We try to counsel patients about it. Undetected disease and the poor awareness about the risk of other major diseases was something which we often observe during our camps. The situation is changing slowly but not at the pace at which it should be.”
Apart from this, she has also launched an app for epileptic patients which come as a huge relief for keeping a track of the ongoing treatment. This app is a comprehensive application, which will help the patient manage and guide their seizure. It allows the patient to keep a track of their past and present medical history. There is a medication list where patient can enter all their present day medication and put reminders so as not to miss even a single dose. In case of seizure if a bystander has taken a video of the event the video can be uploaded in the app so that the patient can show to the doctor during his visit, which helps the doctor in making a diagnosis.
The app also contains all the information about epilepsy, first aid, video and posters related to epilepsy. Available in three languages- English, Hindi and Telugu, it is yet another example where technology could be use at human disposal for benefit. Her research on the impact of prolonged medication on epilepsy patients has led to a launch of a toll free number 18001020237 to further inform and educate people about neurological disorders and its prevention. The Logical Indian salutes the efforts of Dr Bindu Menon for taking medical services to the remotest villages and working towards a noble cause with utmost dedication.
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