General Medicine, Orthopaedics, Gynaecology, and Paediatric Camps November 2017

Over 300 patients seen in just one day with four dedicated specialisms serving those who came from far and wide.

An intense but rewarding day took place on the 25th November 2017 when Haven members and consultants from the UK and volunteers from Kolkata and Bolpur joined together with local doctors to cover four much needed specialisms. Professor Bimal Bhaduri, the head of Haven’s medical team, oversaw the Paediatric camp that helped 63 patients during the day, and referred 12 patients for further treatment. This is Prof Bhaduri’s impressive 7th medical camp for Haven, putting him very much at the top of our leader board. He’s a familiar and welcome face at our centre, whose sensitivity with children means that each one feels comforted by the end of their consultations and receives the much needed expert intervention to aid their recovery.

Dr Tapon Haldar, on his first trip to Atla, took on the biggest camp, the General Medicine camp. He saw 83 patients, making sure that each one was treated with incredible care. The overwhelmingly positive feedback from our patients is certainly a sign that Dr Haldar’s high level of attention with his patients did not go unnoticed, and they would be delighted to welcome him back. The two consultants, Dr Joydeep Das and Dr Soumen Sahasikdar, from Burdwan, around 120km away, visited us from Sharanya Multispeciality Hospital they ran, respectively the Gynaecology and Orthopaedic Camps. They saw a total of 122 patients and referred 11 for further treatment. Two patients from the paediatric camp, aged six and seven, have both already undergone successful operations to correct their hernias. A difficult case, with an eight-year old girl who had cleft palate and complicated chromosome issues is moving forward. She has had successful tests carried out and sponsors in the UK have been secured to pay for her follow-up surgery, if it is possible.

Haven's partnership with the Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy (IICP) has proved to be one of the most beneficial, comprehensively serving the needs of the children with disabilities from the local villages. The two professionals from IICP, including a special educator, had already put in a great deal of their time and expertise to work with our physiotherapist, Tarok, and our nurse, Rita, to ensure all of the 34 children in their care were fully equipped with the necessary aids and equipment that would allow for the children to benefit from a better quality of life. On the day of the camp, visiting Haven members witnessed first hand the remarkable improvement in mobility and comfort for all of the children with disabilities. All of the recommendations provided by IICP have been followed up and actioned by Haven so that each child is now the proud owner of the correct equipment: specifically adapted furniture and specialised aids to enjoy in the comfort of their homes. IICP professionals have also taken up the task of training our physiotherapist, Tarok. They will teach him vital skills to make sure he is fully capable of looking after the physical management of our children with disabilities. Haven would like to extend sincere thanks to Professor Sudipta Purkayastha for his introduction to the IICP.

In other news, the learning centre teachers received guidance in February 2017 on how to improve. This November, a qualified UK teacher went to oversee how well it had been implemented. It was heart-warming that all the advice, teaching strategies and classroom management had been taken on. What was most exciting was that all the children were constantly occupied, and the teachers were no longer flustered, and the key outcome of this improvement was that both teachers and children were evidently happy and content to be there. A visiting Haven supporter, Ravi Ramachandran, was so inspired by the work that Haven is doing with the children of the learning centre that he immediately made a substantial donation of funds and has, in addition, pledged ongoing support by promising regular sponsorship over the coming year. On this particular visit to our centre, Ravi had also bought along thoughtful gifts for each child to further help their learning. Haven would like to extend sincere thanks to Ravi for his generosity and kindness.

Multi-faceted learning extended even into our cultural performance. A new local dance troupe, from Tarapith, entertained the crowds of people and volunteers during the midday break. They also performed exclusively for the doctors on arrival the night before, lifting all our spirits immensely. The best thing about this troupe is that they focus on the younger generation. They incorporated more children than adults and taught the skills of teamwork, and the precision of dance to tens of kids. More than that though, they’re a group who embraces everyone, which is fully in line with Haven’s philosophy.

Our stalwart team of MBCF staff and our manager, Gopal Sarkar, together with all the volunteers from the local community and abroad really helped keep everyone going during an intensive day. All our thanks go to everyone who participated, in particular those who travelled from the UK.

More images from the medical camps November 2017

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