Medical Camp at Nail Gaon
The Divine Shakti Foundation’s Free Medical Care Camp visited the hilly hamlet of Nail Gaon, 25 km from Rishikesh. The village has a total population of 300, including outlying farmsteads. Nail Gaon is a hamlet perched in the high foothills of the Himalayas and overlooking a tributary river to the Ganga. Most of the youth have left the village to settle elsewhere, leaving a large number of elderly and a small number of children school-age and younger and some few adults in their prime. Access to the village takes about two hours by 4×4 vehicle and is from a highly congested narrow mountain road that devolves into a rocky and eroded dirt track for the last several kilometers.
The camp had three stations: registration and the doctor’s station, a yoga and massage station, and the wound-care station. At the doctor’s station, heart rate, blood pressure, and blood-glucose levels were taken and compared with data from a previous visit. Each patient then consulted with Dr Priya about his or her illness, and she prescribed accordingly. There were cases of coughs, arthritis, joint pain, ear infection and skin problems, minor wounds, high blood pressure, leucorrhoea, and high acidity (bad digestion). The majority of the patients seen were elderly women with high blood pressure, back pain, and joint pain and swelling from arthritis and poor sleeping conditions. Some patients had fungal infections between their toes due to poor hygiene. Another type of skin infection was by allergic reactions to a noxious weed in the area. A man presented such a condition. An assistant cleaned the infected area, applied an ointment and gave him additional dressing materials and a tube of the medication to self-administer. There was also a child with an ear infection and another with ringworm. A young girl complained of headaches caused by reading and, in absence of an eye doctor or the possibility of glasses, pranayama of alternate-nostril breathing was suggested and demonstration to help with headaches and stress. Most of the patients with high blood pressure were given renewals of their medications from the last visit of the Divine Shakti Medical Camp.
At the yoga and massage station, patients with back, shoulder, knee, wrist, and ankle pain were given a massage with pain-relieving ointment and shown some very gentle exercises they could try to help increase mobility, although most patients who were seen for arthritis pain were of such an age (often 70s to 80s) that their range of movement in all areas was extremely restricted. The pain patients were given pain relievers such as ibuprofen and paracetamol tablets and were also given a tube of the mentholated pain-relief ointment to apply themselves. Forty-three patients were seen and treated ranging in age from a man of 90 to a child aged four years.
The Divine Shakti Foundation (DSF) shares its deep gratitude for its team of sevaks (volunteers) Loki (from Oregon, USA) Jyoti, Medical Camp Co-ordinator and Lead Dr Priya Singh both from Parmarth Niketan, for serving selflessly in this camp.