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Thursday, October 03, 2019

A New Ambulance

After much searching, talking to people etc we honed in on a new ambulance - FORCE MOTORS BASIC LIFE SUPPORT AMBULANCE.
(NB. For those interested please read the National Ambulance Code - AIS 125)
A generous donation from the Kudva Family (many of whom have studied at Rishi Valley) more than met the cost of the ambulance.
Life saving equipment - Multipara monitor, Automatic External Defibrillator, Suction pump etc have been ordered. Once they come the ambulance will be fully fitted out to take care of any emergency.

The interior
The ambulance has already been put to use

A 65 yr old lady had a fall at her home in the village. Clinically she had had a fracture of left hip. She was taken to Madanapalle and has since been operated

Being transported through the village


Solar Photo Voltaic Power

Cheers to the sun!!!
Thanks to a CSR initiative of Coal India, the RHC got a 10 + 2KW off grid PV electric power system. We are now totally off grid and have been able to sustain all our operations on Solar Power.
The Rural Education Centre also has a off grid PV system installed.
This system ensures uninterrupted power as well as savings on electric costs.
Some pictures below
The staff

The PV Panels

July to September 2019

June was hot and dry, towards the nd of July the rains picked up. August was better and as we approached the end of the third week of September, we had good rains and from being deficient rainfall we are now on par. Everyone is mighty thrilled with the bounty of the gods.
The groundnut crop is doing well. The farmers say that the size as well as number of nuts per plant is good. They hope to get a good price for that
So also the tomatoes which have shot up. The spread of rainfall was good and so the crop was good. As they say one persons bounty is another's misery. Floods had washed out tomato crops elsewhere so the farmers in our region had a better price. How I wish that there could be an even distribution of farm income.
Patient Data
Total: 6553
Children: Males: 301; Females 336
Elderly: Males 887; Females 679
Adults: Males: 2042; Females 2308

Having an extra hand in Dr Anandhi has definitely reduced the stress and the fatigue!!!

Sunday, August 11, 2019

A Smile that never goes away - II

Continuing with an earlier post
The girl has made remarkable progress - now wanting to ride a bicycle, do her homework etc

I am free
I am strong
I will succeed
I will fly with the wind
No obstacle can stop me
I will ..........

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Farewell to Amritha

Amritha joined us as a Fulbright scholar in September 2017. She had done her BS in Biomedical Engineering and wanted to work in bringing healthcare to the doorstep of rural folk. Initial surveys in the Villages, reinforced this idea that here was an opportunity to deliver healthcare at the doorstep.
She worked at the project and we were able to start screening of adults for NCDs. We used a tablet based NCD screening apparatus made by Vitor Healthsciences, a Bengaluru based startup. Thanks to this initiative the RHC has been able to provide doorstep health care for patients of Hypertension and Diabetes in two villages in Thettu Valley. Patient compliance has been about 65% which is fairly respectable.
In March 2018 the Rural Health Centre was included as a site for a multi centric mental health study - cVEDA (Consortium for the Assessment of Externalising Disorders and Addictions)
This project attracted Amritha a great deal and she decided to extend her stay at RV by a year more.
Amritha trained in this project and was appointed project supervisor. She did such a fantastic job of recruiting participants, training staff on Neuro Psych testing on PsyTools, maintaining records, bar coding and storing the blood and urine sample, coordinating with NIMHANS for patient referrals as well as MRIs.
As far as NIMHANS was concerned they did not have to worry about Rishi Valley site since they just knew that everything would be perfect. Hats off to the cVEDA team and Amritha in particular.
She had applied to medical school and for a MPH programme back home in the US. She got into Emory for a MPH programme.
Sadly we had to say bye to her and let her go. Her last working day at the RHC was 30 June.
We are already missing her smiling, active presence. For a person so young she bought in good organisation, man management skills as well as a very empathetic attitude to the participants who were suffering with psychiatric problems.
We will miss her at the RHC. She was like family.  From all of us wising her godspeed and every success in life.
Some photos from her farewell

A Gift from the staff

With CVEDA staff

The field staff

Going Digital with X Rays

Yay the RHC went Hitech.
A big big and heartfelt THANKS to Venki Ramachandran - an ex staff of Rishi Valley, now in the US, who donated the X Ray Equipment
The RHC bought a AGFA CR 12 digitiser, doing away with the old method of developing and fixing X Ray films. We now have crisper images and are also able to focus in on the area of interest and do away with the background clutter.
God Bless you Venki.
Here are the images of the Digitiser

Saturday, July 13, 2019

A Doctor joins the RHC

A Doctor  Joins us
Dr Anandhi, graduate from Madras Medical College (Class of 97) and a post graduate in Gynaecology from Patiala (2018) joined us on 01 June.
She did a Short Service Commission with the Indian Air Force, married an Army Officer, Col Murthy and the did her MD in Gynaecology. She was working with the ECHS (Ex Servicemen Cooperative Health Scheme) in Patiala.
The family had come to Rishi Valley, as prospective parents, for the entrance examination and interview, when they came across the RHC and literally walked in to explore the possibility of working here. Vidya and I both liked her, so did the management. So we offered her a job in May and she readily accepted.
Its been a real pleasure having her with us. Competent, taking on responsibility, very active, interested - a great asset to the RHC. We look forward to a long innings here at RV and the Health Centre.

A Smile that never goes away

This 14 year old girl had a traumatic amputation of her Left forearm while using a grass cutting machine in March 2019.
Please see Blog Jan - March 2019 for the 1st Photo
The girl was rushed to Madanapalle where she was operated and wound looked after. After discharge we took over the wound cleaning and dressing at the RHC.
What struck us was her attitude, smile and air of positivity in spite  of such a grievous wound. She wrote her year end exams in April scoring almost 90%.
By then the wound had healed well and we referred her to the Chittoor Campus of the Christian Medical College. There she was under the care of Dr Suranjan Bhattacharjee, a renowned figure in Rehabilitation.
Her muscles were strengthened and an artificial limb fitted in May 2019
She is now active and coping with her new limb. The plan is for a bionic limb in about a couple of years.

Post surgery
Slow wound healing

 Videos of her new limb

The PMR team at CMC, Chittoor. Dr Suranjan at far right

April - June 2019

Wow its been hot. In the last 20 years never seen temperatures continuously above 41 C. Sapped us thoroughly. As an emergency measure put shade nets over the waiting area and got 2 air coolers to alleviate the suffering of the patients who have to wait for hours as we ploughed through the crowd. Frayed tempers, exhaustion, irritability all in equal measure. What a relief it was for all of us when the vacations rolled by - a much needed break.
Back to work on 01 June and back to work. The heat abated a bit but the rains have stayed away.

Patient Data
Total: 3823
Children: Males: 99; Femakles 118
Elderly: Males 556; Females 433
Adults: Males: 1283; Females 1334

cVEDA Project
Children at play drawing and colouring as they wait their turn for the assessments. This was a great way to engage the kids through the long questionnaires.

A Young Baby

A 3 month old baby presented to the RHC with signs of Congestive Heart Failure due to a congenital heart problem. We successfully resuscitated the baby here and then admitted at a secondary care centre. After the baby stabilised, he was referred to Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad. He was operated there by Dr Anil Kumar, Paediatric Cardio Thoracic Surgeon and his team, under the aegis of Arogyashree medical scheme. The baby has made an excellent recovery. God Bless the team at KIMS, Hyderabad.


Friday, April 05, 2019

Jan to March 2019

 A busy 3 months is over and the so also the last quarter.
An extended winter meant that one had more energy to carry on.
We had consciously decided to try and reduce our numbers. Any patient coming from more than 30 km away was politely asked to go somewhere else. Of course a few exceptions were made - for the elderly, the very sick and the young ones. This did help in reducing the number of new patients we saw, but the old patients more than made up the numbers.

              Less than 15 years                                                      More than: 65 years
Male:          251                                                                                   841
Female        278                                                                                   693

Less than: 48000 pa: 5951
More than: 48000 pa: 125

TOTAL: 6076

This fiscal 23904  patients attended the RHC. This, by far and large is our highest annual load ever.
The number of new patients registered was only 2640 (less by 1200 as compared to the last fiscal)
This probably made our work load less since one didn't have to spend too much time in working up a patient.


This project is going on in full swing. Our understanding of mental health issues has grown in leaps and bounds. We are now managing quite a few depressions, family violence and abuse by ourselves. There is a plan to train our staff to work as lay counsellors - there is such a need.

Vascular Diseases: We hope to restart in mid June for follow ups.

 A nurse explaining Diet, Nutrition and foot care to Diabetics - this group also interacts with each other helping each other


A little fella gambolling at the RHC

A 15 yr old girl with an amputation Left below elbow

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

October to December 2018

A definite reduction in patient numbers. I feel that our quality of care has improved.
The reduction in numbers is being made up by the time spent with children needing help both from the rural schools as well as Rishi Valley in itself.
I can see that the mental health needs are just going to increase. Not surprising given the increasingly chaotic world we live in where mere survival is going to get more difficult.
The monsoons have failed again and we are at about 60% deficit. This is going to hit people hard.
Drinking water will become a problem as summer sets in.

TOTAL 4667
Males: < 15 (186), 16 - 65 (1299), > 65 (626)
Females: < 15 (274), 16 - 65 (1717), > 65 (565)

< 48000 (4581), > 48000 pa (86)

On a more happy note we did some tree planting - our bit for the environment!!!!!

July - September 2018

Work goes on as usual. A steady flow of patients. We have been trying to implement some way of reducing the number of patients. Fatigue and possibly some early burn out are the main drivers for this. We are now not seeing patients who come from more than 30 km. Seems to be making a difference.
Projects:cVEDA is making a difference. We are picking up children with Neuro Psychiatric issues ranging from Depression/Anxiety to Attention Deficits. All of these unreported at the time of diagnosis.
These children are referred to NIMHANS for confirmation of diagnosis and we do the follow ups here.
There is such an urgent need for Mental Health professionals in the field - but where to find them

TOTAL: 6559.
Males: < 15 (243), 16 - 65 (1916) > 65 (767)
Females: < 15 (259), 16 - 65 (2603), > 65 771
Income: < 48000 pa (6456), > 48000 (103)

Participant doing the online cVEDA test