A large-scale health screening camp held in Nandurbar last month has identified at least 1,838 tribals in need of surgical intervention. Of these, 463 were found to have already undergone surgeries. The intensive screening, done in April, found that most people required cataract operations and general surgeries. The screening drive involved 150 doctors and health workers, who went to remote hamlets to look for patients and conducted camps at primary health centres. They shortlisted 535 tribals who require eye operations and 607 in need of general surgeries (which focus on abdominal organs).
“These tribals live in remote pockets and cataract is not a life-threatening ailment that they feel the need to treat immediately,” said Dr Radhakishan Pawar, district health officer. According to him, over a lakh people were screened in April. From May 17, medical colleges have started sending specialised teams to conduct operations in rural and district hospitals of Taloda, Navapur and Nandurbar blocks. Treatment will be done in 12 specialities including radiology, urinary, plastic surgery, cardiology, ENT and neurology.
The surgeries, according to the state government, have been scheduled over the coming six months. Additionally, 5,361 patients have been identified who need treatment for some illness. “The camp is aimed at addressing health issues of everyone. The focus is on providing specialty services missing in government hospitals,” Pawar added. Nandurbar, located on the northern border of Maharashtra, has over 60 per cent tribals in its 16.48 lakh population. Dhadgaon and Akkalkuvan blocks are the remotest regions situated in the hills with poor road connectivity.