During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, while the COVID healthcare services are being taken up on priority, equal attention is being paid to non-COVID essential services in all the States/UTs. A unique and innovative example has been set by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), through the Dhanvantri Rath, a mobile van providing non-COVID essential healthcare services to the doorsteps of the people in the city. Many of the large hospitals in the city have been dedicated for COVID-19 treatment, hence various measures have been taken to ensure that non-COVID essential services related to diabetes, blood pressure, heart ailment etc., are also provisioned to people who cannot visit the hospitals as many of them were not operating the OPDs.
One of interventions adopted by AMC is large scale deployment of the Mobile Medical Vans named ‘Dhanvantri Rath’. These vans have an Ayush Doctor, paramedic and nursing staff along with local Medical Officer from Urban Health Centre of AMC. These vans have been visiting various areas and providing OPD services for non-COVID essential services and field medical consultations to people all over Ahmedabad City at their doorsteps. The mobile medical vans carry all essential medicines including ayurvedic & homeopathic medicines, vitamin supplements, basic testing equipments along with pulse Oxymeter. In addition to healthcare services reaching the people who cannot access hospital OPD services for various reasons, Dhanvantri Rath has helped identify those who need further clinical treatment or an IPD admission, and ensured that they reach the hospital in a timely manner.
AMC has deployed 120 Dhanvantri Raths across the city. The Dhanvantri Vans have successfully conducted over 4.27 lakh OPDs consultations, so far. The intervention has helped to successfully treat over 20,143 patients with fever, over 74,048 with cough, cold & coryza, over 462 patients with severe respiratory tract infections were referred to Urban Health Centre & hospitals for clinical treatment, referred other 826 patients with hyper-tension, diabetes and other co-morbidities for clinical treatment at the nearby urban health centres, community health centres, and hospitals. Deployment of the Dhanvantri Raths has had a substantial impact on COVID-19 management also, as several hidden cases could be identified in time.
From 15th June, 2020, the scope of health services of mobile medical vans has been extended to include malaria & dengue tests, in view of the fast approaching monsoon season and the likelihood of increase in the vector borne diseases.