Asha was pleased to welcome two Volunteer Doctors from the United Kingdom. Dr Elaine Smith, and Dr Louise Dolan, volunteered for a week at Asha. Health being one of the major concerns across the Asha communities; it was a wonderful opportunity for slum residents to avail specialist healthcare services.
Both the doctors carried out clinics in four different slums, also in the Asha’s polyclinic. They treated many patients during a weeks’ time. The follow-ups will be continued at the clinics situated in the respective Asha slums. This is how the volunteer program contributes and plays a key role in strengthening the capacity of the existing Asha workforce.
The doctors were also accompanied by an accountant Mr Mathew, who shared important account keeping tips with the ladies running small businesses in the slum communities.
Here is small overview of the week by Dr Elaine Smith…
“I returned to the Asha slums once again in order to carry out clinics; predominantly seeing patients with musculoskeletal problems but also some general medical cases. This clinical work was carried out in collaboration with my friend and fellow rheumatologist: Dr Louise Dolan. We worked in four different slums and worked at the Asha HQ polyclinic.
We saw many people with mechanical neck, back and knee pain. These symptoms occur mainly because of the physical hard work which the slum dwellers endure. We tackled these symptoms by arranging exercise classes and gave general postural advice. Several exercise classes were undertaken throughout the week in the different slums. Hopefully these will be continued periodically by the team leaders.I have worked in the Asha clinics 6 times previously and on this occasion, I saw less infections and more non-communicable conditions such as diabetes. Louise and I carried out home visits too. This enabled us to see the very ill or immobile patients. We suggested that when individuals have attended the hospital, either as an outpatient or inpatient, that the patient or family members do let the CHV or team leaders know so that any ongoing treatment plan suggested by the hospital can be carried out.
Personally, I could see that the good work of Asha, and all the team members, continues to improve the wellbeing of the slum dwellers. The hard work and optimism given by the team is very palpable. It was also very wonderful to see so many members of the team once again and who have become like old friends.
Well done everyone and the fruits of hard work of Dr Kiran and her team are clear to see,” said Dr Elaine Smith.
Here are a few glimpses: