In a time of restricted movement, caring for patients can pose a number of challenges. However, CSC tele-medicine Tekaula Kalan village in Uttarakhand is revolutionising how we practice care, and is helping toward reducing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on both management of the infection and mental health. Mainstreaming telemedicine is the most transformative change VLE Ajay Kumar has made to provide Primary Healthcare in Tekaula Kalan in the post Covid-19 world without compromising on quality of care and outcomes.
Tekaula Kalan is a remote village in Narsan Block in Haridwar District of Uttarakhand. It is located 49 KM towards west from District head quarters Haridwar and 82 KM from State capital Dehradun.
VLE is playing a critical role in managing the epidemic and providing continuity of services. The area is majorly lacking in healthcare infrastructure. Villagers have to travel 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 Tekaula Kalan is bridging the gap between villagers, physicians and health systems, enabling everyone through telemedicine service.
Recent cases in Tekaula Kalan, have highlighted the effectiveness of CSC tele-medicne services for implementing a self-managed quarantine method for controlling the source of COVID-19 infections, and for mental health support in the areas of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic-stress-disorder.
VLE has helped 200 such patients with telemedicine service in this area in last one month.
In Tele-medicine service, VLE Ajay Kumar has also adopted online monitoring to treat cases remotely at home. The method has proved useful for alleviating the shortage of medical resources in this remote village of Uttarakhand.
A WhatsApp group was created to provide guidance on disinfection, as well as overseeing patients’ diets and sleep schedule. The Digital Doctor Ajay helped patients at increasing their confidence in recovery and enhancing self-management capabilities.
Healthcare in a time of crisis
Results from VLE Ajay’s CSC support the effectiveness of tele-medicine in the areas of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder during the coronavirus pandemic. Factors such as fear of exposure, isolation, loss of income of migrant workers, and the absence of a cure for coronavirus infection are contributing to increased stress.
The VLE states: ‘While the primary intervention of isolation may well achieve its goals, it leads to reduced access to support from family and friends, and degrades normal social support systems and causes loneliness, and is a risk for worsening anxiety and depressive symptoms. If left untreated, these psychological symptoms may have long-term health effects on patients and require treatment adding to the cost burden of managing the illness.” The VLE emphasised that the provision of mental health support, especially via tele-medicine, helps patients maintain their psychological wellbeing.
These tools proved quite useful and can be seen as one effective example to follow.
Apart from Tekaula Kalan, villagers from Narsan Kalan, Nagla Salaroo, Manna Khedi, Lahboli locations come to Ajay’s CSC to avail telemedicine facility.