THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, Kerala / The New Indian Express / July 15, 2011
Vayomithram means friend of the aged.
The mobile clinic offers palliative care and is equipped to conduct basic health tests. Last March, ‘Vayomithram’ started providing free ambulance services to senior citizens above the age of 65, within the limits of the Corporation. Senior citizens belonging to any of the 100 wards can utilise the service in an emergency. A station situated near the Chithira Thirunal Park at East Fort, operates one ambulance at present which is available round-the-clock. The ambulance service, however, is yet to gain popularity. So far, only around eight trips were made by the service.
The programme was first launched in Kollam and then extended to Thiruvananthapuram. At present, Thiruvananthapuram has one mobile clinic. One more will be pressed into service soon, Renny George, Senior Counsellor/ Coordinator of KSSM said.
‘Vayomithram’ is a venture of KSSM, NRHM and the local body concerned. At present, the KSSM is bearing the expenditure and it is to be shared by all three within one year. ‘’Trained personnel with a Masters in Social Work are selected as counsellors. 42 candidates are to be recruited to serve all the stations. Three counsellors will serve under one station in three shifts a day. Doctors are from the NHRM,’’ says Dr R Ashok, Executive Director, KSSM.
‘’A team of Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) workers will conduct a survey among senior citizens in slum areas and selected people will be provided with palliative care through our mobile clinic. In Thiruvananthapuram, one mobile clinical unit is functioning at present and 850 people have utilised the services of the unit till June 13,’’ he said.
‘Vayomithram’ project will be launched in Malappuram on July 23. As part of the 100-days action plan of the government, the plan is proposed to be extended to all district headquarters before July 30.
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Illustrative photos courtesy of Prof. John Kurakar
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