Kochi: A community- based participatory model worked as an emergency response team during the floods. The Community Response to Emergency and Disaster (CRED), which work-ed in association with Indian Medical Association and NGO MAGICS, was ready with 20 doctors online for providing medical assistance from the initial stages itself.
CRED started call centres with a single helpline number in Bangalore and Kollam to aid the flood victims providing immediate medical assistance and other needs.
They received around 4,000 calls from different parts of the state in four days.
“It was a centralised system with 16 volunteers working round the clock responding to calls assuring medical assistance to the victims," an official with MAGICS said. "As the affected areas were migrants' centres too, we expected more calls from migrants. So we had a few volunteers who are multilingual. Besides, 20 doctors were available for any immediate medical assistance or consultation,” he said.
“After the CRED was launched in May, we trained to work as an emergency response team. When the floods occurred, we immediately started call centres in Kollam and Bangalore. We chose Kollam as it was the least affected area and Kochi had serious power shortage. However, anticipating chances of any interruption there, we started a call centre in Banagalore too,” said Dr. Praveen, public health specialist and chairman of MAGICS.
“In the medical help during the disasters, the treatment needs to be continued in camps too. So in some cases, we had to communicate to the teams in Ernakulam General Hospital for immediate medical assistance to be provided even in remote areas. As 20 doctors were present here for online assistance, we were able to provide online consultation and we were successful in that,” he said....