Saturday, January 16, 2010

Arogya Kavacha-108: A boon for needy people

* City to get 20 more ambulance by 2010
* You may call 108 on your Mobile phone also
Arogya Kavacha-108, the round-the-clock emergency helpline for ambulance facility, has so far been successful in extending its service to the public.
Launched on Nov. 1, 2008 at Bangalore by former President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, Arogya Kavacha-108 ambula-nce arrived in Mysore on Nov. 8.
Speaking to Star of Mysore, L. Nagaraj, Mysore District Manager of Arogya Kavacha, said on an average an ambulance attends 3 to 4 calls per day. Till date it has received 1,161 calls of which 1043 are medical cases, 109 Police cases and 9 fire cases. Another 20 ambulances would be provided to Mysore district in a phased manner before March 2010. It will be spread to Taluk and Hobli-level in the coming days.
In Mysore, there are six ambulances each stationed at Kyatha-maranahalli, Ashoka-puram Police Station, KR Hospital, JSS Dental Hos-pital, Maternity Hospital at Jayalakshmipuram and SMT hospital in Lakshmipuram.
A fully-equipped emergency ambulance provides first aid treatment free of cost. After observing the patient's condition, he/she will be shifted to the nearby hospital. Labour pain and road accidents cases are more, according to Nagaraj.
In each ambulance there will be a pilot and an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). The drivers who are called as pilots will undergo 7-day training on defensive driving technique, use of roads and about ambulance techniques, while an EMT will undergo a 45-day training prog-ramme. During the training period, the EMT will be taught how to deal with emergency cases.
Awareness programmes are conducted at prominent places like bus stands and railway stations regarding the ambulance facilities, says Nagaraj.
How 108 ambulance works: An Emergency Response Centre (a 24-hour call centre, Bangalore) responds to calls which come for this tollfree phone num-ber 108 and help the people who are in need. After collecting the information, the Centre within no time alerts the technicians who are nearer to that particular place. A fully equipped ambulance or fire vehicle will reach the spot within few minutes. Emergency Medical Technicians will ensure pre-hospital care while transporting the victim.
The ambulances are also fitted with Geographical Positioning System (GPS) and Geographical Indication Systems (GIS) which help to locate the geographical position of the emergency scene. The ambulances are equipped with ventilators, defibrillator and extrication tools, apart from 106 items of medicines which will be used in case of emergency.
Arogya Kavacha-108 project was taken up by State Government in partnership with the Hyderabad-based NGO Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI), which is providing nodal service for the helpline and it runs the helpline in eight States, including Karnataka. The State Governments provide 95 per cent of the funding and remaining 5% will be provided by EMRI.
EMRI has started the helpline in various States through Public Private Partnership (PPP) with State governments. It has already tied-up with various hospitals and nursing homes to provide first-aid and hospita-lisation for the victims till they are stabilised. It was Satyam which developed the software and provided technology expertise to EMRI.
There are two types of ambulances at EMRI-108: Advanced Life Saving (ALS) and Basic Life Saving (BLS). ALS ambulances have two additional equipment, defibrillator and ventilator. BLS ambulances are fitted with different types of stretchers, two oxygen cylinders, oxygen masks, BP apparatus and pulseoximeter.
According to Arogya Kavacha-108 Associate Electrical Mallesh, 108 attends to medical, police and fire emergencies and has 150 ambulances in Karnataka. Karnataka is the seventh State in the country to launch 108 emergency services.
This well-equipped Arogya Kavacha-108 has indeed proved to be a boon for needy people.
[Sunday 12th April 2009]

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