Dr. Indu Singh takes Telemedicine to Villages Near Benares; The Story of G.V.Meditech
A Dream Come True Situation
With urbanization, migration has become a common occurrence especially in villages around even towns like Benares. More and more young men are heading to cities in search of jobs. This has left women, children and old people in these villages without the people to escort them to the city for any serious medical requirement.
Meena Sharma living in a village near Gazipur developed life threatening complications during the final stages of her pregnancy. Thanks to the presence of telemedicine facilities in Gazipur, tests were done immediately to diagnose the problem. Within two hours, the doctors arrived at the scene from Benares. The right blood donor had also been identified saving both mother and the premature baby.G.V.Meditech Bridging the Gap
Being a gynecologist from Gazipur (near Benares) specializing in fertility, Dr. Indu Singh had the opportunity to travel around the world and meet other medical practioners. This strengthened her pursuit of providing good medical infrastructure for people who needed it in this part of the country.
So in the year 1992 a small maternity and child health care unit called G.V.Meditech was started by Dr. Indu Singh in Benares providing the much needed medical infrastructure to people in this area. “My husband and myself, we are also attached to people from the villages of Gazipur and Mirzapur because we are from there. We have started two satellite centres in both these places so that people don’t have to travel unnecessarily. The problem was that the elderly people, woman and children are left alone in the villages. There were no people to bring them to Benares for treatment,” explains Dr. Indu Singh, Founder, G.V.Meditech.
ICT & Telemedicine Facilities
Apart from computerization of all data, ICT forms the backbone of telemedicine practices followed by G.V.Meditech. Live telemedicine solutions with specifically designed equipments, once attached to the patients in Gazipur, act as a machine to read BP, ECG etc that can be accessed by doctors in Benares. If anything serious then the patients could get in touch with the doctors in Benares through telemedicine facilities attached to mobile phones.Apart from their satellite centres, G.V.Meditech has also conducted around 150 camps in the last 10 yrs. “The best part about medical camps is that we get to meet people in person making ourselves more approachable for later interactions,” shares Dr.Indu. Invited by the villagers, G.V.Meditech conducts camps. Families support them by cooking for them. Girls and teachers from the schools where they conduct camps volunteer to support them. They check 3000-4000 people in each camp providing prescription and free medicine.
G.V.Meditech had also brought the Lifeline Express/Jeevan Rekha Express, mobile hospital train to Benares for 3 days and to Gazipur for 3 weeks. 28,000 people were treated including 450 eye surgery and 50 cleft lip surgeries that were performed.
Challenges and the Road Ahead
Sadly, the lack of funds to do surgeries continues to haunt people who need medical support. “Motivating doctors and finance are the biggest challenges. People are ready to support micro-finance organizations etc but not healthcare. Patient investors are required in this sector because it will take 3 years or so to yield results,” says Dr.Indu.
Yet G.V. Meditech Ltd. has 65 doctors who cater to 7.1 million people in 15 districts in and around Benares especially in eastern regions of Uttar Pradesh, Western Bihar and Jharkhand for the past 20 years. They attend to more than 1 million outpatient visits, deliver 25,552 babies, perform 32,452 surgeries, and fill about 64,000 prescriptions in a year.
“I plan to have another 4 centres to cater to the huge population in and around Gazipur. They will be micro clinics with one paramedic person giving medical awareness, education, blood tests etc. Our ultimate aim is that people don’t die of ignorance or lack of medical support,” shares Dr.Indu. They are also looking to educate boys and girls to train and employ them in micro clinics to support the ecosystem.
Want to support G.V.Meditech in their endeavors? Take a look at G.V.Meditech's website.