Srinagar: Social organisation Kashmiri American Society for Healthcare, Medical Education and Research (KASHMER) held an awareness program on Friday afternoon ‘to make people aware of the facilities they can avail free of cost’.
During the program participates were given information about the new projects started by the organisation made up of Kashmiri origin healthcare professionals who are engaged in social work in the healthcare sector.
For the cause of providing free health care facilities to the deserving people in the valley, KASHMER has launched various new projects in collaboration with Help Poor Voluntary Trust and HELP Foundation.
The new services include, Emergency medical response ambulance service with critical care facilities, counselling and de-addiction services, COVID relief, vision screening of school children, facilities for Autism spectrum disorder, tele-consultations for autism and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), free dialyses services, free medications, and dead body carrier services among other projects.
Project head, KASHMER, Dr Riyaz giving the insights of different projects, told Free Press Kashmir that the concept of pre-hospital service has not yet started in Kashmir.
“No doubt that there are ambulance services in hospitals but due to the non availability of pre hospital care, the mortality and morbidity rate increases usually due to delay to reach hospital or mismanagement at home or on way to hospital,” he said.
“We are trying to fill this gap. We have a centrally located control room where people can call and the doctors on board can assess the situation on a phone call. Then we send an ambulance along with well qualified and trained medical technicians and pilots who assess on spot and get in touch with the doctors. Whatever basic care needed on spot is given after which we carry the patient to the most appropriate health care facility. Any emergency can be managed on way to the hospital from giving intubation to putting IV lines. We have ECG and defibrillators inside the ambulance. It is like an emergency ICU room,” Dr Riyaz pointed out.
Another project that KASHMIR has started is ‘Healthy Minds’ under which they are providing free counselling to the people of different age groups.
“We are living in a stressful environment where most of the people are suffering from mental distress of different kinds. To provide them counselling we have at least five psych counselors and clinical psychologists on board who take care of such patients without charging any fees,” Dr Riyaz noted.
Regarding free medication services, he said that they have collaborated with various NGOs including Help Poor Voluntary Trust for providing free of cost medication for the people who cannot afford expenses for medicines and medical treatment.
During the surge of COVID KASHMIR supplied Bipap machines, oxygen concentrators to various NGOs who were working on the forefront during the pandemic.
Moreover, the organisation has collaborated with Al Imdad in Kashmir where they provided free dialyses for the patients who are suffering from kidney failure.
“Kidney disease is very expensive which poor people cannot afford. We access the patient’s socio-economic status and provide them free dialyses along with free pick and drop services,” Dr Riyaz informed.
Similarly, another important facility that KASHMER has started is for the families of deceased people.
“This service is for deceased people who expire in hospital and for some reason their family cannot carry the dead body. We have provided dead body carrier services free of cost,” Dr Riyaz added.
Likewise, KASHMER has also started vision screening of school children and provides them optical care free, in addition to providing consultation and management of Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
During the event, one of the board members Dr Nahida said, “our colleagues and the healthcare system in Kashmir is doing amazing work despite challenges but the need is so immense that all players need to join hands to bring ease and lighten the burden on the health care system.”
“KASHMER is bringing quality and equitable care for all, especially the needy in Kashmir,” she noted.
At the end of the event, KASHMER shared the helplines numbers for EMS ambulance service and the Heathy Minds Counseling Services.
EMS Ambulance Hotlines: 9484100200/0194-2404000
Counselling Helplines: 9469807321/9469811096
Tele-consultations for PCOS: 7780808752.