The mobile dispensary service provided by the Bharitya Jain Sanghatana (BJS), in collaboration with Force Motors, will come to an end this Saturday, after the initiative covered over 6.30 lakh residents in two months, and helped diagnose 500 Covid-19 patients.
Each mobile dispensary had a doctor and two attendants on board, along with a stock of medicines and medical equipment.
“We had started the initiative as the lockdown had led to the closure of private clinics and restrictions on the movement of local residents. It was planned for a month but it has continued for over two months…it has been decided to discontinue it,” said Sapna Singh, a BJS representative.
“From April 1 till June 10, the 82 mobile dispensaries mainly visited low-income urban areas… they were able to screen 6,32,257 residents, while referring 8,552 to civic hospitals, of whom 500 tested positive for Covid-19,” said Singh.
The BJS has also started a swab collection centre in Yerawada.
Officials of the PMC’s Health department admitted that the mobile dispensary service had helped alleviate some of their workload amid the pandemic. “It was a big help to the PMC in identifying Covid-19 patients. They reached out to several localities and provided much-needed medical assistance to the needy. The initiative reduced a lot of the load on the civic system for identifying patients,” said a health officer.
According to the civic officer, the initiative – funded by various corporate organisations – was ending as it ran out of funds.
However, another BJS representative said the initiative was meant to help Pune residents at a time when strict lockdown restrictions were in place, and most private clinics had shut down, leaving many without any access to medical care.
“The unlocking has started and many of the private clinics have started providing medical services again… the number of cases is expected to increase further due to unlocking, so it is not possible to continue the initiative in this situation,” he said.
Even the team sent by the Centre, to review the Covid-19 situation in Pune, had acknowledged the initiative, as part of which the BJS team visited specific localities as per the requests of the PMC administration.
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