We had a medical camp organized at AAPI-CF clinic in Gurgaon on the day President Obama reached India for Republic Day celebrations. The camp was attended by Dr. Rakesh C. Gupta M.D, specialist in Pulmonary Diseases, Dr. Neelam Gupta M.D., specialist in internal and geriatric medicine, and by our colleagues from India: Dr. Om Dutt Sharma M.S., specialist in ophthalmology, and Dr. Satya Sharma D.G.O.
125 patients with various diseases like diabetes, hypertension, asthma, COPD, sleep issues, eye infections, and gynecological problems were treated. Patients came from all age groups ranging from children to the elderly. The clinic provided the patients with free medications. It gave us immense pleasure to aid the underprivileged and give back to our homeland through AAPI-CF.
Dr. Sumeeta Grover, as well as the physicians she works with, have been doing an excellent job in managing this clinic. We appreciate the hospitality of the management committee and look forward to the next time we can lend our services to the community.
Jaipur Rozda Camp:
We held a medical camp in the village of Rozda, 35 km from Jaipur, a small town with very limited resources, Rozda has no nearby medical facilities. Twelve physicians attended this camp including three US physicians: Dr. Rakesh C. Gupta M.D., Dr. Neelam Gupta M.D., and Dr. Ashok Agarwal M.D. The other nine physicians came from Narayana Charitable Hospital including a dermatologist, two cardiologists, three internists, a pediatrician, and two OB Gyns.
Approximately 280 patients were served ranging from a broad range of age groups and ailments. Patients received medications and EKGs, spirometry, and blood tests free of charge.
This clinic has been managed effectively by Dr. Shashi Panicker. At the end, we appreciated the nice reception put on by the clinic staff. It was attended by three village Sarpanches (village heads). We really enjoyed the efforts and hospitality of the entire staff and we look forward to working them in the future.
We held a medical camp in Kartarpur, Punjab on February 4, 2015. It was attended by Dr. Rakesh C. Gupta M.D. and Dr. Neelam Gupta M.D. along with two local physicians.
We serviced approximately 140 patients from all age groups and various illnesses. The clinic supplied free medications, EKGs, blood tests, and x-rays to these disadvantaged patients.
With a full range of services, including 24 hour emergency care services and an inpatient ward, this is one of the best clinics run by AAPI-CF. Mrs. Suman Kalhan, as well as the staff, and the management team, led by Brigadier Daljit Singh do a great job operating this clinic. We look forward to future opportunities to work with this clinic again.
Ambala City Camp:
On February 5, 2015, we organized a medical camp at Dharmshala, Mastpurian, Ambala City. It was attended by Dr. Rakesh C. Gupta M.D., and Dr. Neelam Gupta M.D., along with two local physicians.
We provided free medical consultations to approximately 80 patients. Most of these patients had some form of lung disease including three who were referred for lung transplants.
We plan to open an AAPI-CF preventive care clinic in Ambala City, Haryana to provide the underprivileged there with accessible medical education and physiotherapy.
Chief Camp Co-ordinator, Rakesh C. Gupta M.D.. Chairman AAPI-CF
Inspired by the mission to give back to their motherland, over two dozen members of Association of American Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) devoted their time, talents and skills in rural villages in Gujarat offering medical help, guidance, and support to thousands of patients.
Straight from the historic AAPI’s Global Health Summit 2014 in Ahmedabad, Gujarat in early January, these dedicated physicians from across the nation, travelled more than two hours to reach RMS Hospital in the rural village of Dhandhuka, with the sole mission of alleviating men, women and children from various diseases. They stayed at the Hospital premises up to seven days, meeting patients who had come from different parts of the state.
Organized by the AAPI Charitable Foundation, the physicians of this first ever Rural Medical & Surgical Camp did pro bono services to help treat over 2000 patients. The camp was set up in collaboration with Katni Bhalani of Goodwill Foundation of Florida and Nitin Shah of AAPI’s Medical Missions Committee. Many volunteers also performed specialized surgeries at the RMS Hospital, which serves approximately 450 villages in the region. The facilities at the camp included a simple lab, X-Ray, Ultrasound, and a basic Operating/Surgical suite.
“Our focus has been to provide quality medical care and to educate the public on disease prevention,” said Nick Shroff, Chair of AAPI’s Charitable Foundation. “We educated patients on prevention of disease, hygiene, diet management, etc. Many people with illnesses such as heart problems, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and various infections are not diagnosed timely and addressing these issues was also our goal. In addition, our medical colleagues in Gujarat were able to appreciate the world-class health care delivery systems and adapt their working environment with the help of AAPI volunteers. We expect that this will have a lasting impact in the care being given to the people of the area,” he added.
Jayesh Shah examined several patients with diabetes and associated wounds, and performed procedures on needy patients. Rakesh Gupta, a pulmonologist, and his wife, Neelam, an internist, made ICU and hospital rounds on sick patients with the staff physicians. They primarily treated patients who had Diabetes, Hypertension, Cardiac and Respiratory problems. Krishan Aggarwal helped treat several patients, many of whom had dermatological ailments. Madhu Aggarwal and Kanti Bhalani performed various Gynecological procedures, collected Pap smears, and delivered babies. Jaishree Jagirdar and Dipika Shironi were actively involved in cervical cancer screening and performed over 100 PAP smears. The slides were fixed and stained using rapid PAP stain kits, donated by US Vendors. Pulmonologist, Siva P Sivakumar, also made hospital and clinic rounds on sick patients with the staff physicians.
Suvas Desai and Nick Shroff performed a Cystoscopy and Transurethral resection of the prostate, a bladder biopsy with resection of a bladder tumor engulfing the left ureteral orifice. Sanat Gandhi and Nitin Shah provided excellent anesthesia during the procedures. Ajay Bhora and Krishna Khandala of eSerona Health helped update physician profiles, basic patient records in a safe and secure manner. Eventually, this application portal can address issues such as specialist unavailability in remote areas, streamline manpower, and ease deployment in medically under-accessed regions.
Nat Rajpara treated several patients at the nearby Timbi Hospital. At the PNR Society, Bhavnagar, there were other physicians who had treated several patients. Bhushan Pandya performed nearly 20 GI procedures. Anesthesia was provided by Nitin Shah and Sanat Gandhi and was assisted by Jasmine Pandya. Bhalani, Vijay Katukota, and Deepal Pandya did Pap smears on about 70 patients. Shironi did the smearing and reading of the Pap smears. DePaul did a phenomenal job of explaining to the patients the significance of a Pap smear for screening of cervical cancer and also advised women about breast examinations for early detection of breast cancer.
Ravi Jahagirdar and his wife, Udita along with Ajeet Singhvi, were present during the opening ceremony activities. As soon as the physicians came, there was a rousing formal reception during which several local leaders from the region praised the dedication of these physicians for taking their time out to meet these needy patients.
Addressing the audience, Nick Shroff and Ravi Jahagirdar, said, “We were overwhelmed by the generous hospitality of our hosts. This was indeed a fulfilling experience and we look forward to the next year. We want such camps to take place, at least once a year, on a regular basis. We need to strategize what needs to be done to optimize functioning of rural health camps.”
According to Jayesh Shah, “Overall, our rural camp proved to be a tangible way to build a relationship between AAPI and the clinics in Dhandhuka, Timbi, and Bhavnagar. This raised awareness of the latest in medical management and how to optimize resources. Since we wanted to do this in a meaningful and productive way, this was an organizational commitment, requiring coordination, infrastructure, and outstanding teamwork by many dedicated volunteers. We plan to involve local NGO's and local volunteer doctors in the future to continue making it a rewarding experience for all involved.”
Pre-Planning Information Gathering
Prior to this project, months of pre-planning information were gathered from all physicians. This included:
Email ID & Cell # in the USA and in India
# Days willing to work and # patients willing to see
Are you willing to do surgery, and, if so, what kind?
What equipment or other items will you bring so that it’s useful in our medical camp?
Drs were requested to bring a stethoscope, Otoscope, penlight, Finger pulse oximeter, or additional technology necessary for their use. We also asked if the Doctor be willing to leave Equipment for RMS/Timbi/Bhavnagar Hospital use
AAPI-CF donated $12,500 to the hospital in Dhandhuka which will be used towards purchase of a much needed ultrasound machine. We distributed surgical and medical supplies, along with medicine worth 10 lakhs rupees [$20,000], to the underserved, indigent patients between the three hospitals we served.
Where do we go from here? Future Plans for AAPI Medical Camps
AAPI-CF plans to incorporate operational and educational meetings between clinics managers and staff. We encourage practicing doctors, physicians in training, and medical students to periodically volunteer to work in various clinics in 1 to 4-week stretches. AAPI-CF will make every effort to accommodate their requests.
AAPI wants to take this unique way of giving back to the community to the next level. “If you have been thinking of helping and did not know how to proceed, then here is an opportunity to help in an organized and meaningful manner. I sincerely hope that we will continue with this concept of conducting health camps and enhance it in future years. The strength of our organization depends on the generous support of our members and for that we are eternally grateful,” Nick Shroff, stated. The next health camp is being organized at the AAPI Charitable Foundation Clinic in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh for three days, starting on March 1st, 2014.
Nick Shroff, MD
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AAPI boasts of an enthusiastic membership of physicians of Indian origin across the United States. AAPI's charitable foundation (AAPI-CF) aims to serve the millions of people who could benefit from a good standard of medical services.Through the assistance and hard work of several dedicated and distinguished AAPI Physicians, the AAPI Charitable Foundation was established in 1992. Our Foundation was designed to provide an infrastructure support system for needy patients in India. Please help us to continue supporting our clinics by donating, volunteering, and spreading the word about our organization.
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