'Donate unused medicines, baby products to needy mothers, babies'

'Akshaya Sanjeevini,' 'Akshaya Ambara,' Help Desk at Lady Goschen hospital complete 1 year today

'Donate unused medicines, baby products to needy mothers, babies'

Lady Goschen hospital in Mangalore is perhaps the only hospital in the coastal region, where women, especially pregnant, come all the way from more than 6 districts besides the neighbouring state of Kerala.

As most of the patients hail from very poor background (mostly daily wage labourers and illiterate), they find it difficult to find the right ward or to reach the right facility. Realising this need, the Dakshina Kannada unit of Indian Red Cross Society initiated a ‘Help Desk’ on June 19, 2012, perhaps first of its kind in the State and it would be completing one year today (June 19, 2013).

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Lady Goschen Hospital Superintendent Dr Shakunthala M said that the ‘Help Desk’ has been of great help in guiding the patients, who come from faraway places. “Be it knowing the right department, getting blood or medicines, the patients are immensely benefitted,” she said and added that there is a need for round the clock ‘Help Desk.’

At present, the ‘Help Desk’ functions only during day time and some staff manages the task during night time. A number of persons, especially emergency cases, arrive at odd hours and the patients’ kin find it difficult to avail the facility quickly and on time, in the absence of a helper.

Red Cross Treasurer Raveendranath said that if volunteers from Youth Red Cross from City colleges can come forward to extend help at the Help Desk in the hospital, it would be of great help to patients and on the other hand, the students too would develop service motto and helping nature.

“If many volunteers come forward, then such help desks may be started in railway stations and bus stands too to help commuters and tourists,” he said.

Novel schemes

Along with the Help Desk, two novel projects - ‘Akshaya Sanjeevini’ and ‘Akshaya Ambara’ were also launched by wellknown orthopaedic surgeon the Nitte University Vice Chancellor Prof Shantharam Shetty on June 19, 2012.

While the purpose of ‘Akshaya Sanjeevini’ was to collect medicines from the public, the purpose of ‘Akshaya Ambara’ was to collect essential commodities for pregnant women and new born, and distribute the same among the needy in the hospital.
Anand Shetty, a Red Cross member, who had suggested the names ‘Akshaya Sanjeevini’ and ‘Akshaya Ambara’ for the novel projects, said that there are a number of persons with lot of unused medicines, tonics and syrups.

Similarly, there are a lot of persons with excess baby clothes, baby powder, baby oils, baby creams, baby soaps or even baby foods among other essential items, received as gifts from their kin during delivery or naming ceremony. “Instead of wasting these products, the same may be donated to Lady Goschen hospital and the same will be donated to needy pregnant women and new born babies,” he added.
Besant Women’s College and Milagres church too had kept two boxes each and both received overwhelming response.

Milagres church Parish Priest Rev Fr Valerian D’Souza said that all he did was an announcement in the church and parishioners started handing over clothes as well as medicines in plenty. The same has been donated to Lady Goschen, he added.
The same facility may be extended to temples, mosques and educational institutions wherein visitors and students may donate unused medicines and unused baby products, which are not required for them or their families. In turn, it would help those little children of lesser god, their mothers and mothers-to-be.

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