#HealthOfKerala: Floating dispensary in Alleppey, a lifeline for many

Kerala has suffered its worst flood within living memory. While 7.25 lakh people have been rendered homeless, about 400 are feared dead due to the havoc created by the flood. More than 4,000 relief camps have been established across Kerala and disaster management officials said they were now focused on preventing the outbreak of water-borne diseases. A floating dispensary on the River Pamba has emerged as beacon of hope for the flood-affected people

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The backwaters of Pamba River, is one of the largest holy river in Kerala, it provides a daily livelihood to thousands of people in Alleppey, Kerala. It is a popular destination in Alleppey as thousand of tourist throng this area each year to experience a ride on the houseboats.

But, as of today, the riverbed is said to be 3.5 to 5 meters about the normal level. And the swollen riverbed has caused devastation in Kottinadu area of Alleppey. The incessant rains have engorged the backwater of the river and submerged areas in its vicinity.

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Small colonies and villages, here in Kottinadu, are not accessible via road transport. As they are surrounded by the backwaters of the river throughout the year, even if the conditions are normal, as it is the geographic feature of this area. Small boats are the only means of transportation for these people.

After the torrential rains wreaked havoc, two lakh people have been rescued, as water has entered in almost all of the houses and buildings.

In this area, health services are provided with the help of floating dispensary. The boat service which runs through all the 365 days of the year, is the lifeline for the people who are cut off from the mainland.

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Dr Sreejinan

While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Sreejinan, a homeopath doctor, attached to the Ministry of Ayush, said, “Everyday the floating dispensary provides medical care to about 90 patients. Sometimes in emergencies we use this boat as an ambulance as well.”

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Dr Alex PJ, who is in-charge of running the boat, said “During the floods over here, we have attended to over 15,000 patients, so far.”

The Kerala floods have taken a toll on the houseboat business as well. As the business is shutdown on account of heavy rains.

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The state government of Maharashtra is also provided medical help to the people of Kerala.

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While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Madan Yerawar, Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies, said, “We have dispatched three tons of medicines to Kerala. And in the near future, more medicines will be sent as per the requirement. The Maharashtra government will leave no stone unturned to help the people of Kerala.”

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The Medical Education Minister of Maharashtra has accompanied a team of 100 doctors, which consists of doctors Mumbai’s state-run, Sir JJ Group of Hospitals and Sassoon General Hospital, Pune. The doctors who are offering medical relief in various districts and they have diverged into three teams. The central government is also doing the best it can to offer assistance to the flood-ravaged state.