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 reduction centre arrange in Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Tamil) Ladang Emerald, Taman Sri Muda.
He was there to distribute additional 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 medical doctors and different medical professionals to the good thing about the flood victims.
So, he set to work bringing in his inside 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 crew and arrange an emergency area clinic, segregating individuals into inexperienced, yellow, and purple zones based mostly on the emergency of their medical wants.
Making sense of the chaos
The inexperienced zones had been the place flood victims with frequent colds, the flu, coughing, fever, complications, and extra, would get handled. Over within the yellow zone, Dr Suthan and his crew had been tending to these with low blood stress, uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension, and many others.
“The flood victims had been caught [in their locations] for 48 hours earlier than being rescued, and their medicines had already been washed away by the flood,” Dr Suthan revealed in an interview with Vulcan Put up.
“For 48 hours, they didn’t take any treatment. So positively, their blood stress, diabetes, weren’t beneath management.”
Within the 7 days that Dr Suthan and his crew 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 crew.
For sufferers who had been in additional extreme states than the treatment might management, the crew needed to stabilise them first earlier than transferring them to the closest hospitals.
In the meantime, within the purple 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 purple 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 may’ve felt from first being shocked over the flash floods, getting displaced, then going into labour in a reduction centre filled with lots of to 1000’s of different victims.
On the medical doctors’ finish, Dr Suthan relayed the adrenaline rush his crew felt as they labored to stabilise her, all the best way up till she was transported to a safer location to present delivery.
From mass remedy to deal with 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 take care of and a crew of about 30 to are likely to all, the medical crew discovered themselves spending most of their time on the centre.
Dr Suthan himself acknowledged that he spent extra time there than at residence for the week, even showering and having his meals there.
By December 25, the centre was closed, however eager to proceed volunteering, the ePink Well being crew opened a small medical sales space deeper into Taman Sri Muda on December 27. They carried out related providers up till New Yr’s Eve.
“At the moment, we nonetheless have a steadiness 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, no less than till the opposite clinics in Taman Sri Muda are in a position to reopen.
Altogether, he has a crew 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 medical doctors, nutritionists, psychologists, and extra, together with e-pharmacy providers, and home calls upon request.
Through the previous month of floods, nonetheless, volunteering grew to become the highest precedence particularly within the first devastating week.
Thus, its common 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 common 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 medicines individuals 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 power treatment collectively too.” This manner, the problem of treatment getting washed away will be prevented.
If assets allow, medical groups might arrange reduction centres prematurely 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 stated that that they had been amassing knowledge of the flood victims they handled.
“We’ve got dissected them in response to the severity, sort of illnesses, and any acute situations that arose because of the floods.”
“Primarily based on these, we will share the information with KKM to provide you with a correct plan to organize and cater higher to these particular situations ought to critical floods occur once more,” he stated.
For instance, if the information exhibits that there have been a number of chronically diabetic sufferers who misplaced their medicines within the latest floods, for any future disasters, such treatment could possibly be ready prematurely for deployment to reduction centres.
In all, what I garnered from talking to Dr Suthan was that the know-how, knowledge, and manpower from the non-public healthcare sector are all available. We simply have to harness them higher.
- Learn extra flood-related content material right here.
Featured Picture Credit score: Dr Suthan Kaveri, ePink Well being