Dr Suthan Kaveri might recall clearly the primary few days of the floods, when on the afternoon of December 19, 2021, he visited a flood aid centre arrange in Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Tamil) Ladang Emerald, Taman Sri Muda.
He was there to distribute further shares of face masks that his firm, ePink Well being, had when he got here to the realisation that the centre lacked medical standby.
Being from a telemedicine platform, Dr Suthan knew he might leverage their community of docs and different medical professionals to the advantage of the flood victims.
So, he set to work bringing in his inner groups and blasting messages to medical professionals he knew to return and assist out.
By the night of December 19 itself, he’d assembled a workforce and arrange an emergency discipline clinic, segregating individuals into inexperienced, yellow, and pink zones primarily based on the emergency of their medical wants.
Making sense of the chaos
The inexperienced zones had been the place flood victims with widespread colds, the flu, coughing, fever, complications, and extra, would get handled. Over within the yellow zone, Dr Suthan and his workforce had been tending to these with low blood stress, uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension, and so on.
“The flood victims had been caught [in their locations] for 48 hours earlier than being rescued, and their drugs had already been washed away by the flood,” Dr Suthan revealed in an interview with Vulcan Submit.
“For 48 hours, they didn’t take any treatment. So undoubtedly, their blood stress, diabetes, weren’t underneath management.”
Within the 7 days that Dr Suthan and his workforce had been current on the centre, he estimated that they gave out about RM50K value of treatment.
These funds got here from donors throughout Malaysia who paid on to pharmacies, who then delivered the treatment to the workforce.
For sufferers who had been in additional extreme states than the treatment might management, the workforce needed to stabilise them first earlier than transferring them to the closest hospitals.
In the meantime, within the pink zone, they needed to resuscitate sufferers who had collapsed. As we cycled by means of Dr Suthan’s recollections of occasions, he recalled a very impactful one they noticed within the pink zone—having to assist a mom who was going by means of preterm labour.
Whereas he retold the story, I couldn’t assist however really feel sorry for the mom, imagining the nervousness she would possibly’ve felt from first being shocked over the flash floods, getting displaced, then going into labour in a aid centre stuffed with tons of to 1000’s of different victims.
On the docs’ finish, Dr Suthan relayed the adrenaline rush his workforce felt as they labored to stabilise her, all the way in which up till she was transported to a safer location to provide beginning.
From mass therapy to accommodate calls
From his recollection, there was by no means a gradual day on the centre, particularly once they needed to be cautious of COVID-19 an infection dangers too.
With so many individuals to look after and a workforce of about 30 to are inclined to all, the medical workforce discovered themselves spending most of their time on the centre.
Dr Suthan himself acknowledged that he spent extra time there than at dwelling for the week, even showering and having his meals there.
By December 25, the centre was closed, however desirous to proceed volunteering, the ePink Well being workforce opened a small medical sales space deeper into Taman Sri Muda on December 27. They carried out related providers up till New 12 months’s Eve.
“At present, we nonetheless have a stability of treatment although. So, what we’re doing are a house-to-house screening and free treatment supply,” Dr Suthan shared.
The initiative started on January 7, and could be repeated each weekend for an indefinite period, at the very least till the opposite clinics in Taman Sri Muda are capable of reopen.
Altogether, he has a workforce of about 40 volunteers unfold out throughout the neighbourhood to execute the plan.
On an everyday day if the floods hadn’t occurred, ePink Well being would offer telehealth consultations from docs, nutritionists, psychologists, and extra, together with e-pharmacy providers, and home calls upon request.
Throughout the previous month of floods, nevertheless, volunteering turned the highest precedence particularly within the first devastating week.
Thus, its standard operations had been placed on maintain momentarily. With the house-to-house screening and medicine deliveries although, Dr Suthan organized them for weekends particularly in order that ePink Well being might proceed as standard from Mondays to Fridays.
Shifting ahead smarter and higher ready
Primarily based on his expertise at Taman Sri Muda, he had some parting recommendation to share to ensure that us to be higher ready ought to related pure disasters (crossing my fingers) occur once more.
“What we will do is digitalise easy medical information, like what are the fundamental drugs persons are taking,” he famous.
“We will additionally unfold consciousness that in case you are in a flood-prone space and need to save your IC, passport, please package deal your persistent treatment collectively too.” This fashion, the difficulty of treatment getting washed away will be prevented.
If sources allow, medical groups might arrange aid centres upfront too as soon as the nation has been warned about impending flash floods or related by MetMalaysia.
As for the way ePink Well being and related digital healthcare corporations can additional contribute on this house, Dr Suthan mentioned that they’d been accumulating knowledge of the flood victims they handled.
“We have now dissected them in keeping with the severity, kind of ailments, and any acute circumstances that arose as a result of floods.”
“Primarily based on these, we will share the info with KKM to provide you with a correct plan to arrange and cater higher to these particular circumstances ought to severe floods occur once more,” he mentioned.
For instance, if the info reveals that there have been a number of chronically diabetic sufferers who misplaced their drugs within the latest floods, for any future disasters, such treatment might be ready upfront for deployment to aid centres.
In all, what I garnered from chatting with Dr Suthan was that the know-how, knowledge, and manpower from the personal healthcare sector are all available. We simply must harness them higher.
- Learn extra flood-related content material right here.
Featured Picture Credit score: Dr Suthan Kaveri, ePink Well being