As of April 9, there are more than 5900 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in India. In Madhya Pradesh there are more than 227 confirmed cases and 13 people have died. As many had feared, the country can fail to “flatten the curve” especially in rural areas and medical need can be exceeded what the health system can provide.
In an effort to free up critical beds and resources, most of the elective surgeries have been canceled. Health officials are even urging people symptomatic for COVID-19 but less vulnerable – those who are generally healthy and under 60 years of age – to stay home and away from emergency rooms for fear of infecting others or taking up much-needed beds.
62 years old Rasheed Begam lives in Meghnagar village, Jhabua district. She underwent a major heart operation few months back. Since last few days, she was feeling discomfort and pain. The nearest hospital is at 46 km distance. She was worried that a trip to a doctor’s clinic might make her sicker in the wake of corona pandemic. She came to know about Telemedicine service provided by Village Level Entrepreneur (VLE) Muhammad Limkheda who runs a CSC centre at Meghnagar. The VLE helped the patient consult with a Apollo doctor through video conferencing and got medicine prescribed. Apart from this, VLE Mohammad Limkheda and his friend Aliasgar went to Dohad 56 km from village and provided the prescribed medicine to the patient.
VLE Muhammad Limkheda is serving villagers especially women and people from marginalized communities through Tele-medicine service.
With Covid-19 cases spreading across the country, face-to-face consultations can be risky for both patients and doctors. Under the circumstances, remote consultations over the phone or video calls can help patients access health care while also limiting their and doctors’ exposure to the disease.
CSC Telemedicine provides convenience and cost-effective medical care. Recently, it has become more comprehensive, expanding to acute and chronic conditions, and migrating from hospital to home and mobile devices. In its simplest and low-tech form, visits to the doctors in village panchayats are not necessary and a simple telephone call or video conference can be facilitated instead.