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Pilot project for healthcare needs of tribals in Kolli Hills

M.K. Ananth

Volunteers dispense naturally-prepared medicines

Photo: Special Arrangement

For good health: Technical Support Group member of the AYUSH-Isha project and Siddha practitioner Jensi (centre) offering hands-on training to an AYUSH Sevak at Periyakoilur hamlet in Kolli Hills. –

Namakkal: Volunteers trained under the AYUSH-Isha Organic Health System, a pilot project launched by Isha Outreach in collaboration with the department of AYUSH under the aegis of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, have been treating villagers in Kolli Hills for common diseases, using naturally-prepared medicines.

AYUSH Organic Health Systems project director K. Sekar told The Hindu that a total of 440 volunteers, called AYUSH Sevaks, had been handpicked from the nearly 40,000 people residing in 276 hamlets in 14 Panchayats in Kolli Hills.

One volunteer would cater to the basic healthcare needs of 100 people, Mr. Sekar said. He said half of the Sevaks were women.

Training

A series of panchayat-wise training programmes had been organised for 214 AYUSH Sevaks, who are now serving their community for the last two weeks.

He said that the volunteers, who are called AYUSH Sevaks, would guide sick people approaching them.

Mr. Sekar said that the Sevaks who had undergone training had been provided an AYUSH drug kit from which they could dispense drugs free of cost to ailing persons.

Kits would be provided to the remaining volunteers after training them over the next two weeks, he added.

The Sevaks, who are between 23 and 50 years, would make themselves available to the patients for about an hour every day. The volunteers are given follow-up by the panchayat-level Cluster Facilitator of the AYUSH-Isha project through regular refresher courses, Mr. Sekar said. AYUSH medicines distributed by the Sevaks are simple herbal preparations such as Thalichadi chooranam for common cold, Nilavembu kudineer chooranam for fever, Neerkovai mathirai for headache, T.Thayirchundi Mathirai for indigestion and diarrhoea, T.Chandraprabhavadee for dysmenorrhoea, Pinda Thailam for musculo skeletal pain and Mathan Kalimbu a dressing kit.

Mr. Sekar claimed the medicines were harmless, would not have any side effects and had been included in the kit only after they had been recommended by Siddha experts of the project's Technical Support Group.

Medicines that are dispensed to the people are also replaced once a month to keep the project running, he concluded.

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