For the last four years, Dakshas has been looking for a way to regularly reach out to rural communities. We felt that weekly, or more often monthly, interventions do not make the cut. Not only do we become sporadic and incidental, rural communities just see these camps as a way to obtain symptomatic medication.
However, the recent intake of General Bedside Assistants from Pratham may just be what the doctor ordered! General Nurse Assistants are candidates from nearby villages, who are given three months of residential training under the Healthcare Sector Skill Council, National Skill Development Corporation. They are taught to provide hospital grade support in patient hygiene, nutrition, basic investigations and medication.
Five such bedside assistants will be rotated through Dakshas’ partner hospitals and old age homes this year. They will be further trained in basic pain relief, care of immobilized persons and exercise therapy by a Dakshas physiotherapist. At these old age homes, as part of the training, the trainee will be assigned four abandoned and destitute elderly persons under supervision. They will also be rotated through partner hospitals to further hone their skills.
SEWA (http://sewa.ngo) has graciously sponsored these assistants for Emergency Medical Training under Emergency Management and Research Institute’s (EMRI) First Responder (FR) training programme. This is important as these General Bedside Assistants would be called to attend emergencies in old-age-home and urban settings before the ambulance arrives.
After 6-12 months of training, they will return to serve their villages, while receiving an honorarium. Dakshas will continue to monitor their interventions in real time.
The aim is to establish a permanent link with rural communities, so that care can be provided on a daily basis under remote surveillance. Also, further medical interventions can be initiated promptly in real time or at weekly intervals. First-aid and proper transportation to referral facilities can be ensured.
And most importantly rural communities will not lose skilled personnel to urban areas