While the city is limping back to normalcy and mass scale conservation work is going on, cleaning the city and unclogging the waterways, it goes without saying that, the people who are working towards this are exposed to various health hazards. The rains and flooding have created ideal situations for a host of waterborne diseases like Malaria, Cholera, and Leptospirosis to spread. The disaster management team at Fortis Health Care, Vadapalani wanted to address this issue at its early stages and started reaching out to people who are the most exposed to infections.
The cleaning and conservation workers as well as numerous volunteers who have involved themselves in these activities, to get the city back in shape, are in constant contact with sewage that has mixed with rain water, highly infectious waste material and carcasses of animals that died in the flooding. As the old adage goes ‘prevention is better than cure’ it is sensible that we prevent them from getting infections.
The medical team at Fortis has been going around the city, and is administering TT (Tetanus Toxoid) vaccination to all the conservation workers as a social responsibility. Doxycyclin is also being provided to the workers as a precaution against other water borne infections. The Fortis Healthcare team is also educating them on safety precautions like wearing hand-gloves, footwear, face masks etc., while working. The hospital team has already vaccinated more than 100 conservation workers in Jafferkhanpet and Vadapalani. The team will also be covering other parts of the city like T.Nagar, Saidapet, Tambaram, Velachery and Perungudi in the coming days.
Dr. Abhijit Sinha Roy, Head of Medical services, Fortis Healthcare, Vadapalani said “When a disaster of this scale, which hasn’t been seen in over a century happens, it leaves us with problems unknown and unaddressed and with no literature whatsoever, especially when it comes to new challenges in community healthcare. Fortis Health Care has adopted a prophylaxis model in addressing this issue and it focused more on high-risk areas, namely conservation work, and is trying to prevent diseases from being spread”
Earlier the hospital has sent out mobile medical teams to various flood affected parts of the city to conduct preliminary screening to affected people. So far over 1500 people have been screened in places like Irumbiliyur, Mudichur, Tambaram etc. People have also been provided with prescription medicines free of cost, as and when required. The hospital has plans to continue this activity and reach out to other areas in the city.
CSR at Fortis Healthcare Limited
The CSR initiatives are driven by our vision, philosophy and the need of the community, with health remaining our main focus; we however, occasionally modify our programmes to suit our intended beneficiaries. We also promote awareness and educational programmes on preventive care and training people on several health related problems including emergency care. We have approximately 300 employees volunteering in our CSR initiatives and community development and they are allowed to take out time from their work schedule for these initiatives.
The organisation is committed to creating robust mechanisms to implement, record, review and measure outcomes of the initiatives for the community at large. This not only ensures the efficacy of our programmes but goes a long way in guaranteeing that they continue to be significant, relevant and sustainable so that the beneficiaries derive maximum benefit from our effort and equally importantly, we become proud of our contributions to the community. There is a regular feedback from the Fortis hospitals about running of the programmes and after appropriate review from time to time, necessary modifications (if required) are made to better the programme. All CSR initiatives are reported in the company’s annual report for information of our stakeholders. We also have specific programs to protect the environment through our work, like taking care of our biomedical waste, X-ray exposure, and so on which ensures cleaner environment and safety for our patients, attendants and employees.
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