IN THE last fortnight, as many as 553 emergency cases have been attended to by the Maharashtra Emergency Medical Services (MEMS) for Ashadh Wari 2017. During the pilgrimage route from Alandi to Pandharpur, around 50,956 people were administered medical attention by state-run ambulance: Dial 108. Chest pain, seizures, breathing difficulty, bites and abdominal pain were among the main reasons for the medical emergencies.
This year, at least 12 lakh pilgrims will converge at the temple town of Pandharpur on July 4. To ensure safety of the warkaris at Ashadh Wari, the state-run ambulance service has set up two control rooms at Pandharpur. “We have also conducted a First Responder Training programme with the district health authorities to train health officials,” said Dr Jyotsna Mane, one of the programme officers at EMS.
The control room will ensure close monitoring and better communication through wireless HAM Radio. A total of 14 ambulances are deployed in Pandharpur city to cover the entire stretch in Ashadh Wari. ‘GO Teams’ are identified and will work in co-ordination with the ambulances to identify emergencies and provide emergency care, said Dr Dnyaneshwar Shelke, CEO of the EMS project. The MEMS provides 108-based tollfree medical access across Maharashtra.
A total of 937 ambulances, including 233 Advanced Life Support (ALS), 704 Basic Life Support Ambulances (BLS), along with over 5,000 EMS professionals (doctors, drivers, and managers), are working under the MEMS. “We follow a systematic approach to address emergencies during Ashadh Wari. As many as 76 advanced ambulances will provide 24×7 medical assistance to the pilgrims on the entire wari route,” said Shelke.
In 2014, MEMS had deployed 56 ambulances, which attended to 178 emergency patients, and 30,705 other patients during the yatra. In 2015, a total of 72 ambulances attended to 261 emergency patients and 25,531 were given on-scene care. In 2016, MEMS had deployed 74 ambulances, which took care of 592 emergencies and 49,321 on-scene care.
Dr Sanjay Deshmukh, deputy director of health, Pune, said a 50-bedded ICU has been set up at the district hospital in Pandharpur. Seven persons, who are part of the wari, have already been admitted and monitored for breathlessness.
From Alandi to Pandharpur, our health officials have referred 210 patients to the state-run EMS, while 650 persons were referred to various hospitals. Specialists from Pune, Satara, Nashik, Latur and other areas are now in Pandharpur, to handle any medical emergency that may occur on the final day of Ashadh Wari.