‘My task is herculean, the only way I know is to keep moving ahead’

In India, doctors are not willingly ready to work in rural areas due to poor infrastructure. The nursing staff plays a very important role in healthcare management. They are the real heroes and are the backbone of the healthcare system. With their dedication, ceaseless efforts and selfless service, they help save many lives. One such hero is Jalgaon’s Kalpana Gaikwad who has been working ceaselessly for the betterment of people in rural areas

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Providing healthcare services in rural and tribal areas have always been a daunting task for the government. For the people living in the rural areas, Primary Health Centre (PHC) is the only option. As poor and needy people, find it very difficult to reach to the district hospital.

Today, My Medical Mantra brings you an inspirational story of a nurse from Jalgaon district in Maharashtra. She has won the prestigious Florence Nightingale Award, for her selfless service and devotion to mankind.

Kalpana Gaikwad, a 53-year-old woman, is a nurse attached to Dheku, a Primary Health Centre in Jalgaon district, Maharashtra. She has been tirelessly working since the past 28 years, with only one aim to provide better healthcare services to people.

While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Kalpana Gaikwad says, “A number of people work for money. But, I work for satisfaction. For me, my patients are everything. They are like my family. I know that my task is herculean, so, I cannot give any excuse. The only way I know is that I have to keep moving.”

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Kalpana further said, “There is a basic difference between people living in the rural areas and the city. People living in the city, visit the doctor if they are ill. But, here the situation is the opposite. In rural areas, we have to visit their homes and enquire about their health. We need to counsel them, about why healthcare services are important. And this is the biggest challenge in front of the healthcare machinery.”

The health workers working in rural areas also struggle with the lack of government machinery and availability of state-of-the-art infrastructure.

Kalpana Gaikwad, says, “A number of times, it happens that there is a shortage of basic things in the Primary Health Centre. Our job is not only limited to the PHC, but we have to go on the field and find out which disease is spreading rapidly or what the people need. Earlier, when we used to visit people in the rural areas, they used to turn us away. But now, the situation has changed drastically.”

In 2017, the central government had conferred a prestigious Florence Nightingale award to Kalpana Gaikwad for the tireless and selfless service for the mankind.

“We travel to remote areas to provide healthcare services. Now, people living in remote areas wait for us, with a hope that they will get the medical facilities on time. So, even if you are not well or do not have the means of transport, we have to reach out to them,” says Gaikwad.

Kalpana concludes with a message stating, we all should come together and help spread awareness about healthcare in the rural areas. This will bring the patient to the Primary Health Centre. And increased awareness will help them seek timely treatment.