Thirumalai Charity Trust is in a unique position to support the healthcare needs of the local community. With a modern hospital and a rural outreach programme, TCT provides a bridge between the two through the addition of its health camps. Our health camps facilitate easy access for the rural people we serve, and each of the medical departments offers camps regularly.
We have standardized our first level of service delivery through camps and screening programmes. Our field staff provides the needed follow up care for patients identified and enable the required treatment.
The following medical camps are being implemented:
Many of these patients are offered treatment at subsidized costs or free of charge.
*In addition to the camps by our hospital, we organize monthly eye camps and bimonthly cardiac camps with the Hindu Mission Hospital, Chennai. Patients requiring cataract surgery, angiogram and cardiac surgery are treated at Hindu Mission Hospital.
On November 5th, 2015, Pushpa A.,57, was identified by TCT staff to attend a free diabetes camp held in the Thiurmalai Mission Hospital. The Multi-purpose worker and the Family Care Volunteer were checking BP and sugar levels in her village Ayagavundanur, and it was there that she discovered she had high sugar levels, and needed further assessment.
Most obese patients and diabetics have very poor awareness and knowledge about appropriate dietary modifications, physical activity, and body weight to optimize health and diabetes control. This service is provided free by TMH and TCT.
Our field staff reaches out to known diabetics and encourage them to participate in our free camps organized at our hospital. Patients come to these camps to learn more about their risk level, and diabetes in general. When Pushpa first arrives she is registered by the same TCT staff she met in the village. Patients are asked to bring their medical history, and current medicines to ensure quality care.
Then she goes for her first blood test of the day before eating anything.
While she is waiting for the results, she attends an educational session, held by a nurse from the hospital where she is given information on diet and health, and prepared for other tests she will take to assess her risk level.
Her height, weight, and blood pressure is recorded.
Pushpa has a meeting with the staff nurse and the multi-purpose worker who had recommended her coming to the camp. They explain how Pushpa should keep track of her sugar reading, her medicines, and other health related information in the log book they have given her.
Pushpa is then sent for her next round of blood tests, after she has eaten something. In the next procedure, the nurse tests for neuro sensory impairment by testing Pushpa’s feet for sensitivity. The first test is with a tool called Monofilament, which checks the undersides of the feet.
A major problem in the community is something called diabetic foot where the patient feels a loss of sensation in the feet. At our diabetes camps, we screen diabetics for sensory loss in the feet and counsel patients about foot care with the objective of preventing foot ulcers which may potentially lead to loss of the limb. Pictured here, the nurse uses a tuning fork, to check the vibration sense on the top of Pushpa’s feet.
Screening for diabetic retinopathy is not done in an organized and regular manner in most hospitals. We fill up this lacuna by getting a proper ophthalmic assessment in the diabetes camp and by appropriate follow-up action through referral to a well-equipped ophthalmic unit at Karigiri Hospital. Pushpa has her eyes assessed for any abnormality.
Diabetics are prone to a number of painful musculoskeletal problems such as periarthritis of the shoulder so physiotherapy is provided at subsidized rates or free of cost at our diabetes camps. Lastly, with all her test results, she sits with the attending doctor who will talk to her about her risk level.
Pushpa will be able to control her diabetes if she can change her lifestlye habits and take her medicines on time. To support her, the TCT field staff will continue to do follow-up visits at home. Through the field staff and the hospital staff, TCT hopes to provide holistic care for Pushpa and other patients like her. When Pushpa came for the diabetes camp, the TCT staff also recommended she attend the other free camps like for osteoporosis. Here she was able to get a free Dexa scan, and realize that she would also need to start calcium supplements. Our attempt is to bridge the gap, so that local healthcare is at its best.