Medical help out of bounds for victims


A large chunk of Yamuna flood victims suffering from  water-borne diseases and other medical problems have not received any medical help from the government.

They do not even seem to have any information about the presence of mobile medical vans which have been pressed into service for the relief camps.

The displaced say they have not been visited by doctors or given any medicines ever since they were shifted to higher ground.

As a result, people are compelled to visit pharmacies and hospitals in other areas to buy drugs or get treated.

Abhay Singh, one of the thousands relocated, had to hire an autorickshaw to Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital on Thursday night after his daughter complained of acute stomach pain.
“No one visits us and we do not get to know about any government facilities,” said Singh, adding that the only medical facility at the camps they have come across so far is polio drops for children.

His tent is almost one-and-a-half kilometre from the Mayur Vihar Phase-I traffic signal, where the medical van is stationed. But even people camping close to it did not know about its existence.

On Friday, Amar Singh, a compounder in that lone medical medical van on the stretch, said they had made four or five rounds of the tents since 9 am. But their records showed that till 11.45 am only 47 people were given any kind of medicine.

Dr Deshraj, the medical officer on duty, blamed the people themselves for the lack of awareness about the facilities. “The people are busy with their chores and do not care to see when we pass by their tents,” he said.

To show that medical aid was available to people, he offered to make another round of the tents with this reporter.

It was a hurried exercise. He called out to a group of people in one of the tents, asking them if they needed medicines. Seeing no response, the van then drove by a whole stretch of tents, not stopping once to check if anybody needed medical aid.

When Deccan Herald pointed this out, the medical officer decided to take yet another round. This time a large number of people gathered around the vehicle — and within 20 minutes the number of people having received medicines went up from 47 to 93.
Deshraj attributed the change in figures to herd mentality.

“If one of them asks for medicine, everyone forms a queue,” he said.

But given the diverse diseases people complained about, it appeared unlikely that the doctor had read the situation right. The affected people, meanwhile, are looking for help on their own.

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