Mangaluru, June 25: Mangaluru is very advanced in providing quality healthcare service to children who are sick. But the primary quality care is lacking at most of the remote areas of Dakshina Kannada district. Primary care means preventive measures, early diagnosis, treatment and timely referrals to tertiary centers in serious cases. If all these are properly dealt with, then child mortality and morbidity (suffering and death) can be minimized.
Keeping this in mind, a group of Tulunadu people in the gulf – Gulf Tulunad Friends Circle Group under the leadership of Prasad Shetty, Ashok Shetty, Satish Poojary, Rajab Mohammed Hassan, Ziya Omeri, Maqbool Ahmed, Venkat Subbu have come together under the supervision of Dr Sudhakar Shetty (medical director/pediatrician) to commence a unique mobile pediatric clinic called ‘Kateel Mobile Pediatric Clinic’ which will be one of its kind in the country, a state-of-the-art clinic with all facilities for primary pediatric care to be delivered at the doorsteps in remote areas of Dakshina Kannada.
Towards this noble project, Dr Sudhakar Shetty is supported by Dr Sanjeev Rai (pediatrician- HoD pediatrics and chief of medical services, Father Muller Medical College) and Dr Santhosh Soans (HoD-pediatrics, AJ Medical College), Dr Murali Krishna (Moodbidri), Dr Rego (HoD of pediatrics, St John’s Medical College), Dr Adarsh (HoD-pediatrics, Rajarajeshwari Medical College), Dr Nisarga (HoD-pediatrics, KIMS), Dr Guruprasad (professor and neonatologist, JJMC), and Dr Sandhya Bhide (director-Shankar Pediatric Postgraduate Institute).
Dr Rego and Dr Adarsh are classmates of Dr Sudhakar Shetty and together they had done a lot of such community work 25 years ago in Chitradurga-Hirioor-Holalkere district in the field of child health and were the part of the team to study infant mortality during those days. Dr Shetty says, ‘we have worked more in outreach community programmes than in AC rooms’.
To start with, it will function in two groups: Group 1 and 2. Group 1 will cover Kateel, Aikala, Kalamundkur, Kadandale, Puthige, Moodbidri, Kottebakil, Marpadi and Shirtadi.
Group 2 will cover Kateel, Mundkur, Nandalike, Belman, Hiriadka and Shivapur Kajane.
If readers of this article are interested to include their village they may contact Dr Sudhakar Shetty on email@example.com.Their request will definitely be honored in the next group or in this group itself, if possible.
The other activities in this mobile pediatric clinic apart from routine pediatric treatment are distribution of ‘Baby Friend bulletin’ – a monthly free newsletter to the general practitioner in rural areas, training programme for general practitioners in the field of pediatrics, setting up kitchen garden in rural houses in individual houses by using waste water from kitchen and washrooms in growing nutritious vegetables, monthly screening of health films on screen fixed on the mobile clinic on topics related to child care, care of girl child etc, vitamin A prophylaxis programme, mid-day meal programme in the mobile clinic pantry, etc.
Patients will be charged a minimum of Rs 50. Those patients who cannot afford to pay will be made free. All girl children from birth to 1 year of age will not be charged at all (part of care of girl child project).
Common medicines will be dispensed in the mobile pediatric clinic free of cost. Any special medicines such as antibiotics shall be prescribed which can be purchased outside.
Dr Shetty along with other members of the group will be surveying the locations on July and shall be coordinating with the pediatricians around the route of the mobile clinic for better patient care. Dr Shetty said that the response from local pediatricians is encouraging. They are ready to dedicate four hours a month for this project.
Doctors (medical officers) working in the mobile clinic will get special training in primary pediatric care.
Samson Gonsolves has been appointed as the technical expert to design and manufacture the mobile clinic with reception counter, doctor rooms, examination and treatment area, dispensing counter, pantry, sitting area, screen for film projection etc.
Venkat Subbu son of Puttana Kanagal award recipient C V Shivashankar, who is a filmmaker and IT engineer, has volunteered to produce pediatric health documentary for this project on various topics.
This is the first of its kind in the country with state-of-the-art facility and look for primary pediatric care for rural area.
Dr Sudhakar Shetty, MD, DCH, is a Specialist Pediatrician at Al Jawdah Medical Centre in Sharjah, UAE.
Contact Number: 971-55-7202730
Dr Sudhakar Shetty
MBBS, MD (Pediatrics), DCH
Baby Friend Clinic (Pune-India)
Kateel Mobile Pediatric Clinic
Al Jawdah Medical Centre (Sharjah-UAE)