RDT has been working with Chenchu tribals in the Nallamala forest areas around Srisailam since 2009. The drinking water situation and sanitation was very poor in the tribal hamlets both in the interior forest as well as in the plains around the forest. A special health mission was the need of the hour. A team of health organizers was first sent to provide necessary health awareness and basic primary health care in the ‘chenchu gudems’. A batch of literate young women was trained as community health workers to care for children and mothers. However, the non-availability of doctors in and around the forest area was badly felt. Finally in 2015, RDT started a mini hospital at Mannanur in Achampeta area in Nagar Kurnool district of Telangana state. But still, people had to travel long distances to come to the hospital. We needed to go to the homes of the people. Therefore, a mobile clinic was also started soon after. The mobile clinic has a doctor, nurses and medicines.
Dr. Saifulla khan and Dr. Ayesha work in mini hospital and Dr. Khuddoos works for the mobile clinic. Some patients who availed the services of both the hospital and the mobile clinic have this to say:
“My name is Nanu naik. I am 69. My wife died long ago and I am living alone. I did not even know that I was a diabetic until I had a wound in my leg. It became very painful and some people frightened me that my leg will be amputated. Then I came to know about Mannanur hospital and went there. They treated me for two months. Now my wound has disappeared and I am alright.”
“I am Pothamma from Maddimadugu village. One day, as I was hunting, two arrows pierced into my body, one into my stomach and one into my thigh. I fell unconscious and when I opened my eyes I was in the hospital. The doctors gave me medicines and injections immediately. Later they also did a surgery on me to remove the arrows. I am damn lucky to be still alive.”
“I am Lingamma aged 26. I come from Appapur penta. I was pregnant and did not go to any hospital until time came for me to deliver the baby. That is when I first saw Mannanur hospital. I had a normal delivery and a female baby weighing 2.5kgs. I was kept in the hospital for 2 more days and received very good care before I went home.”
“I am Dr. Khuddoos, who work in the mobile clinic. The chenchus in and around Nallamala forest have to travel long distances and spend a lot of money when they are sick. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that we go to them. Whenever we go to a ‘gudem’ or ‘penta’ (Telugu names for tribal hamlets), we do blood investigations for all who are sick. We diagnosis the disease then and there and give them necessary medicines. We take the more seriously sick persons to Mannanur hospital for further treatment. In the last one year, our mobile clinic has served 6621 adults and 2603 children. More than the numbers, it gives me great satisfaction to go to their doorstep and rescue them in their hour of need.”