In Puthimari Gram Panchayat, Dhubri district, Assam, CSC Telemedicine has emerged as a critical technology to bring medical care to patients while attempting to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 among patients, families, and clinicians. Woman VLE Mrs. Aklima Khatun has completed more than 250 Tele – consultations in last one week.
The area in Puthimari is majorly lacking in healthcare infrastructure. Villagers have to travel to Public Health Centres in neighbouring villages or to the district hospital when they have more serious ailments. Public transport is not so efficient and private vehicles are hired, often at very high costs. CSC in Puthimari GP is bridging the gap between villagers, physicians and health systems, enabling everyone through telemedicine service. The patients come in contact with Digital Doctor Aklima. The VLE informs them about the telemedicine service provided at her CSC. The people who are suffering from other medical ailments during this time can receive care from home, without entering medical facilities, minimizing their risk of contracting the virus.
Citizen engagement and empowerment
The VLE is figuring out how to encourage patients to receive treatment in the comfort of their homes. She is also adopting public health campaigns, and online education programs in the remote village Puthimari to drive telemedicine adoption and ensure that the public can receive healthcare services at their doorsteps. Apart from Puthimari, villagers from Bahalpur , Rangamati, Chirakuta, Hakama are being benefitted through Aklima’s Tele-medicine service.
CSC Telemedicine offers the possibility of increasing the supply of doctors and helps overcome geographic restrictions, and hence the efficiency of healthcare systems can be maximised by utilizing the potential of the quarantined doctors for virtual care.
The VLE said, “With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine has gained momentum. There is an overnight increase in demand, acceptance among doctors, paramedics, and consumers.”
Healthcare professionals who are in the frontline response to the COVID-19 pandemic are at the highest risk of infection. Hence, adopting telemedicine can help minimise this risk by reducing the number of personal interactions.
“One of the beauties of CSC telemedicine is that we can use it to balance the supply and demand. We can virtually treat our citizens even on the remotest corners and, at the same time, surveil and treat the patients at their home,” VLE suggests.
Apart from Tele-medicine, the VLE offers services on PMGDISHA, Life Insurance Premium collection, and Tele-law. Under PMGDISHA, VLE has trained 300 villagers in Puthimari Gram Panchayat. Aklima started CSC in March, 2019 in the remote location of Assam. Within a short span of time with her proactive efforts, she ensured smooth operation of her CSC. She says: “While running CSC operations, the thing I enjoy the most is helping different group of people who visit CSC for their service requirement. It is heart-warming to see their satisfaction after getting the services from CSC at reasonable cost and minimal time at their doorstep.”
Her husband Nur Islam, who is also a VLE supported immensely. She informs: “My family is grateful to CSC for providing source of income for the family.”
VLE Aklima Khatun says: “CSC initiative provided us a platform to cater to the needs of the society and also help us in generating income for the family. I am sure that rural citizens and all VLEs will be benefitted. CSC has also helped me in gaining respect and recognition in the society.