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Friday, October 30, 2020

Photo Essay: Covid lessons

In the face of Covid-19 scare, Taloja villagers pooled in resources and converted an Urdu-medium school into a healthcare centre for its 10,000-odd residents. Text, photos by Narendra Vaskar

Written by NARENDRA VASKAR | August 16, 2020 2:50:04 am
taloja coronavirus, taloja covid cases, taloja coronavirus, taloja covid toll, indian express newsThe National Urdu Primary/ High School has been turned into a temporary clinic.

In June, residents of Taloja village, located 49 km east of Mumbai, rallied to an idea floated by one Mohammed Yasin Patel to set up a health clinic that could cater to the 10,000-odd people living in the area as Covid-19 cases were reported closer to home.

The idea was simple — to have a dedicated facility where the virus-afflicted patients could get 24-hour help.

“In June, three people in our village tested positive and one of them died. There was panic all around and anyone with the slightest of symptoms was looked at with suspicion. This meant that people were not getting the required healthcare and we thought we needed to do something to address the issue,” Patel said.

Subsequently, local residents came together to form a committee and finally approached the Panvel Municipal Corporation seeking permission to turn a local school — National Urdu Primary/High School — into a temporary clinic. “As schools are shut during the pandemic, the corporation readily agreed,” Patel said.

With no money to equip the school with medical essentials, local residents decided to reach out to the community members. “We sought funds from the community and within one day we managed to raise around Rs 4 lakh. We procured medical supplies and went about converting the school into a temporary medical facility,” Patel said.

The facility, helmed by local volunteer doctors, now provides primary healthcare services to the local residents. While the village has not seen any Covid-19 case since June, residents say that they have managed to provide timely healthcare for all the other non-Covid ailments.

The clinic sees over 100 patients each day. It charges Rs 100 per case as a doctor consultation fee, while the hospital takes care of the generic medicines that are prescribed. The nominal charges and good facilities have recently started drawing people from adjoining districts of Ratnagiri too.

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