A mega diabetes and eye screening camp at Nadi Medical Centre (NMC) organised by the one-year-old RC Chennai Madhavaram, RID 3232, saw hundreds of elderly people leaving the venue with a smile on their faces, after they were given counselling, treatment and appropriate services by specialists.
All the 14 staff at NMC including nurses, lab technicians, physiotherapists and pharmacists pitched in with their efforts in screening the people who had lined up at this camp. Specialists from RM Diabetes Education and Research Foundation (RM DERF) and Sankara Nethralaya handled the patients.
Giving an overview of the patients, Vrinda Deepak, IPP, RC Annanagar Madras, and Founder Trustee, RM DERF, said, “for every person detected with high blood sugar, one remains undetected. In fact, those with Type-II diabetes show no symptoms at all, so taking the Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) is a must for those above 30 years.” Caring for the feet of diabetics is essential to prevent foot ulcers which may lead to amputation.
Though diabetics rely mainly on medicines for sugar control, lifestyle changes were a must to keep it in check, she said. Critical tests like Fasting Blood Sugar, HBA1c (3-month blood sugar average), Doppler and Biothesiometry studies were also conducted, followed by consultations and distribution of footwear at subsidised rates. Vrinda was assisted by Dr Anirudh Deepak from Madhav Diabetes Centre. Coupons were given to avail free consultations with a senior diabetologist later on.
Vision screening was done and eye diseases like cataract, cornea damage, retina problems and paediatric issues such as squint eye, double vision and allergy were identified and treated. “Fungus growth and eye watering are common among children due to overexposure to internet and smartphones,” said A Arockiadoss, a counsellor from Sankara Nethralya.
Joseph Bhadrachalam (59), a diabetic, was a relieved man as he a got a list of dos and don’ts, food regimen and lifestyle tips like simple exercises to keep the sugar level in check. “They asked me to drastically reduce my intake of non-veg food which is the main culprit,” he said.
Over 200 patients were screened at the mega camp, of which 185 were identified as diabetic and 78 were referred for further treatment. In the ophthalmic segment, 22 patients were selected for cataract operation, of which 10 would have free procedure at Sankara Nethralaya.
Turning a new leaf
Set up in 2010 by Pushpavati Babulal Kamdar Charitable Trust, NMC is located on the premises of Nadi Airtechnics owned by PDG J B Kamdar, who proudly showed RI Director Kamal Sanghvi and other Rotarians the specialised wings and labs of this medical centre. “The company has grown and prospered in Madhavaram, an underdeveloped suburb of Chennai, since the1980s. Hence, we decided to give back to society what we gained from it. Besides the Outpatient clinic, the medical centre offers high-tech diagnostic services, doctor consultancy and emergency care,” said Kamdar.
Impressed by the medical camp, Sanghvi said, “Preventive care is the need of the hour and the Nadi centre is doing an excellent job of identifying medical ailments at early stages for prompt treatment and corrective action. ” He was confident that they would follow it up and build upon this successful camp for a much larger and sustained community outreach. The club hopes to organise six similar mega camps in this Rotary year.
The Nadi Centre received not less than 80 patients a day who were either treated at the OPD or availed diagnostic services at nominal charges. “But very soon, we felt the need for a volunteer group who could sensitise the people on issues like health and hygiene; and hold regular medical camps in this vicinity,” said Marlene Kamdar. As there was not a single Rotary club over a 5–6 km radius, Kamdar motivated his employees to come together to form a club and thus was formed RC Chennai Madhavaram in August 2018.
Kamdar was supported by R Ravi Shankar from RC Madras Industrial City and DGN J Sridhar in his efforts to launch a Rotary club in Madhavaram. With 26 members, RC Chennai Madhavaram had its club officers installed on the camp day with S Shankar taking over the mantle from Charter President N Jaideep. The club officers are confident of doubling the membership in the current year.
Pictures by V Muthukumaran