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Bringing help to patient’s doorstep

A team of medical specialists, as part of His Majesty’s people’s project, renders service to remote gewogs 
Kidu Medical Unit At a very young age, Hem Kamal was inflicted with a disease.  Without a proper hospital in her village in Dorokha, she had to make frequent trips to Thimphu and Samtse.

She was told she had diabetes, and was advised to control diet, besides being provided medicines.

Once she returned, owing to lack of proper equipment and doctors in the village basic health unit (BHU), she had no idea whether her health status was improving.

But on Monday, she was told some doctors were in her gewog, offering free medical check up.

The team, comprising a physician, gynaecologist, child specialist and technicians, had come from Thimphu under His Majesty’s people’s project, called “kidu medical unit”.  They were taking the service to the remote gewogs without health facilities.

Hem Kamal said the doctors gave her assurance that her condition has improved.

“I’m also told it can be totally cured if I continued being more careful,” she said.

Like her, about 350 villagers from Dophuchen, Dumte and Denchukha had come for a check up that went on till 8pm.  Some had walked for hours to avail the service.

Somlal, 55, from Denchukha, officially a three-day walk from Dorokha dungkhag, said the walk was worth it, since he could get medicine for his illness.

Many villagers said in absence of doctors and equipment, they at times chose to forgo treatment, since moving beyond the BHU involved cost.

The kidu medical team head, Dr Pema Tenzin, said many people requiring genuine check up had come forward.  Many were suffering from illnesses like gastritis and arthritis.

“Most were elderly patients,” he said, adding some of those, who were undergoing treatment, had also taken the opportunity to get their medicines.

Gynaecologist Dr Kezang said, while there were women coming to them with problems, it was good to see others, who approached to learn about family planning.

“The most common problem they shared was on how BHUs lacked equipment to have basic screening tests during pregnancy,” she said.

Meanwhile, Dorokha dungpa, Kunzang Thinley, said a budget proposal has been approved in principle to upgrade the BHU to grade I, after realising it was not good enough to cater to about 436 households.

“We’re finalising the land to come up with its construction,” he said.

The BHU officials said it got difficult for them to manage patients in 20-bedded unit.

“Sometimes we have to accommodate them in the labs and on the floor,” an official said.

Yangchen C Rinzin, Dorokha


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