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Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Medical Camp for Sanitation Workers, Thane

Sanitation workers see to it that our city remains clean, and contribute to the good health of the city. Sadly, their own health is a neglected area.

Thane Citizens foundation, and Maharashtra Go Green Foundation organised free medical health awareness and checkup camps for the sanitation workers of Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC), and the rag pickers of the area on 18th and 19th January 2018. More than 1000 people benefitted from the camps which were held at Vijay Garden, Kores Nakshatra Housing Complex, Majiwada Ward Office, C.P. Tank area, and TMC Headquarters.

The camp comprised of dental checkup, eye checkup, and general medical checkup. Routine blood tests were done to help with the diagnosis. Free medicines and toothpastes were also dispensed to the participants. A team of dentists from Indian Dental association (IDA), doctors and paramedical staff from Wadia Hospital, and Waviker Eye Institute rendered their services for the camp.

Dr.Vasudha Pai, President of IDA Thane apprised the gathered sanitation workers about simple ways of maintaining oral hygiene, and the evils of use of tobacco. “Most of these people we examined have poor oral hygiene. Some of them had badly broken teeth and gum problems in their mouth, yet have never visited a dentist because of high treatment costs,” said Dr. Sonali Chavan, CDH Convenor of IDA Thane. “We need to focus on prevention. If we create awareness, these dental problems can be caught young and the early treatment would be easily afforded by one and all.” The Indian Dental Association, Thane Branch is on a mission to promote dental health awareness among the people to improve the oral health of the society.

Most of the female participants had weakness and pallor, or joint pain. Iron supplements were the most dispensed medicines followed by Calcium, and Vitamin supplements. “There is a general lack of awareness about healthcare. Besides, health care is not cheap,” said Dr. Abul Shaikh, Pediatrician at Wadia Hospital. “One of the women had severe bronchial asthma. She had difficulty breathing, and palpitations even as she walked the few steps from the waiting area to the checkup table. Her current medicine needs to be changed, but she doesn't have the means to buy a high-end upgrade. There isn’t any government insurance for these people, and they can’t afford premiums of private insurance.

Kasber Augustine of Maharashtra Go Green Foundation said, sanitation workers form the backbone of our waste disposal system. We wanted to promote their health, and improve the quality of their life.” Thane Citizen Foundation & Maharashtra Go Green Foundation is strictly a voluntary organisation. It is a non-political group comprising of Committee members of various housing complexes, ngo - ngos, and Government officials from various departments. It is designed to create a forum for fostering a sense of community for citizens, and encouraging residents to work together for the betterment of our environment, and neighbourhood. It also facilitates in effective communication of the needs of the citizens to city officials. At present more than 300+ housing societies have joined hands to make our surrounding a better place to live.

*This is the post event PR I wrote, if you want to check out my experience at the camp, check out my other blog The Sea and Me.
Image Courtesy: IDA CDH Team

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