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 docs 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 group and arrange an emergency area clinic, segregating folks into inexperienced, yellow, and crimson zones based mostly on the emergency of their medical wants.
Making sense of the chaos
The inexperienced zones have 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 group have been tending to these with low blood strain, uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension, and so forth.
“The flood victims have 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 remedy. So positively, their blood strain, diabetes, weren’t beneath management.”
Within the 7 days that Dr Suthan and his group have been current on the centre, he estimated that they gave out about RM50K value of remedy.
These funds got here from donors throughout Malaysia who paid on to pharmacies, who then delivered the remedy to the group.
For sufferers who have been in additional extreme states than the remedy might management, the group needed to stabilise them first earlier than transferring them to the closest hospitals.
In the meantime, within the crimson zone, they needed to resuscitate sufferers who had collapsed. As we cycled by means of Dr Suthan’s reminiscences of occasions, he recalled a very impactful one they noticed within the crimson zone—having to help 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 stuffed with lots of to hundreds of different victims.
On the docs’ finish, Dr Suthan relayed the adrenaline rush his group felt as they labored to stabilise her, all the way in which up till she was transported to a safer location to offer delivery.
From mass therapy to accommodate calls
From his recollection, there was by no means a gradual day on the centre, particularly after they needed to be cautious of COVID-19 an infection dangers too.
With so many individuals to take care of and a group of about 30 to are inclined to all, the medical group discovered themselves spending most of their time on the centre.
Dr Suthan himself said that he spent extra time there than at house 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 group opened a small medical sales space deeper into Taman Sri Muda on December 27. They carried out comparable companies up till New Yr’s Eve.
“Presently, we nonetheless have a steadiness of remedy although. So, what we’re doing are a house-to-house screening and free remedy 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 capable of reopen.
Altogether, he has a group 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 companies, and home calls upon request.
Throughout the previous month of floods, nonetheless, volunteering turned the highest precedence particularly within the first devastating week.
Thus, its regular operations have 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 regular 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 comparable pure disasters (crossing my fingers) occur once more.
“What we will do is digitalise easy medical data, 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 wish to save your IC, passport, please package deal your continual remedy collectively too.” This fashion, the problem of remedy getting washed away could be prevented.
If sources allow, medical groups might arrange reduction centres prematurely too as soon as the nation has been warned about impending flash floods or comparable by MetMalaysia.
As for a way ePink Well being and comparable digital healthcare corporations can additional contribute on this house, Dr Suthan mentioned that they’d been accumulating information of the flood victims they handled.
“We’ve got dissected them in line with the severity, sort of ailments, and any acute situations that arose as a result of floods.”
“Primarily based on these, we will share the information with KKM to give you a correct plan to arrange and cater higher to these particular situations ought to severe floods occur once more,” he mentioned.
For instance, if the information exhibits that there have been numerous chronically diabetic sufferers who misplaced their drugs within the current floods, for any future disasters, such remedy could possibly be ready prematurely for deployment to reduction centres.
In all, what I garnered from talking to Dr Suthan was that the expertise, information, and manpower from the non-public 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