Gynaecology, Paediatric, Orthopaedic, Cerebral Palsy, and Opthalmology Camps February 2017

A frenzy of activity at the Haven Centre as it hosts the widest range of specialist healthcare to date.

Over two days, the 7th and 8th of February 2017, the Haven Centre opened its doors to a great number of people; among them were hundreds of patients, tens of volunteers and a team of medical experts who had travelled all the way from the UK.  On the first day, visiting Haven members spent much of the day involving themselves with other key aspects of activities that regularly take place at the centre. Long discussions with the Haven Academy co-ordinator, Mithun, proved to be most effective as key points of the IT curriculum going forward were decided and agreed on. Mithun runs two one and a half hour classes at the Haven Academy every day of the week with 6 to 9 different students attending each class.

Our Learning Centre, which caters for 30 children ages 3 to 7, underwent a major overhaul after detailed meetings with the two teachers, Rita and Latika. To ensure the children were getting the maximum benefit from their daily attendance at the Learning Centre, the teachers were instructed on how to apply different teaching strategies and, most essentially, how to organise and implement classroom management techniques. As a follow up to these meetings, a brand new teaching timetable was put in place and the additional task of recording weekly progress reports was set in motion.

In readiness for the first of our medical camps taking place that evening, Cerebral Palsy (CP) accompanied with CP associated Paediatrics and Orthopaedics, all the volunteers, mostly made up of students from the Haven Academy, went through their assigned tasks with Haven and MBCF members in detail. This was even more important for the next day, as there would be no more time to get things right. Patients were scheduled to arrive from 7.30am for our four other medical camps, which would be running concurrently.

Over the two days, 200 patients were seen, and from this group there were 30 referrals. Dr Sheela Purkayastha was the Gynaecology specialist and saw 41 women, and put 10 patients forward for further treatment. Our Orthopaedic specialist was Prof. Sudipta Purkayastha who helped 47 patients, and referred 2. This amazing medical duo have now visited our centre three times and together have seen 415 patients in total.

The head of our UK based medical board, Dr Bimal Bhaduri, took charge of the paediatric camp, and was assisted by Dr Abhijit Mandal. Together they saw 45 children and referred 5 cases. Mr Moloy Dey's first visit was a real eye-opener, no pun intended. As an opthalmology consultant, with a special interest in inflammatory and infective conditions, he was initially nervous that he would be seeing only end-stage patients. However, he was relieved to find that of the 34 patients he treated, none required referrals.

As tradition dictates, the medical camps would not have been complete without the midday break that included a 700 person feast and a cultural programme. This light relief is welcomed by both patients and consultants, as the day is full of hard work for our consultants and starts with long journeys for our patients. Moreover, medical camps can be punctuated with traumatic cases and bad news. We were very pleased that government minister, Saumen Mahapatra took the time to visit our centre, and took great interest in all the work that was taking place.

Many thanks to the MBCF staff for their tireless support, and to our Haven Academy volunteers who allowed things to run so smoothly. Haven would like to further extend our thanks to our dedicated consultants, who generously donated their time and energy, and provided the highest standards of care for hundreds of people who have no access to medical care anywhere in the local area.

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