Tuesday, March 28, 2023
LEHS, WISH and ACIL signed a MoU to make primary healthcare services more accessible and affordable through telemedicine for the tea garden communities in Assam
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DIBRUGARH, India, Feb. 6, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the establishment of a digital health and wellness center to assist the inhabitants of Assam's Dibrugarh tea estates was signed by Lords Education and Health Society (LEHS), Wadhwani Initiative for Sustainable Healthcare (WISH), an Indian non-profit organization, and Assam Company India Limited ACIL in Dibrugarh, Assam.

The Digital Health and Wellness Center Project, a collaboration between LEHS and ACIL, has started in ten Assam tea gardens spread over the four districts of Nagaon, Golaghat, Charaideo, and Dibrugarh.

Dr. Purnananda Khaund, the organization' Chief Marketing Officer, ACIL;  Mr. Dinesh Songara, the Deputy Director of Digital Health, WISH; Mr. Heikrujam Nongyai, the State Program and Technical Head,  WISH Assam; Mr. Mohan Jamwal, senior manager of ACIL, and other dignitaries from ACIL were in attendance with the LEHS Assam State Team.

In addition to improving the infrastructure of healthcare services in terms of accessibility, availability, and affordability for tea garden workers, the initiative intends to provide healthcare services to individuals who do not have access to physicians or diagnostic facilities. Teleconsultation and point of care devices will reduce the cost of consultation and diagnosis for the tea garden beneficiaries.

According to Dr. Khaund, "Telemedicine is similar to connecting with your loved ones over the phone and prescribing medicines for their minor health conditions. This collaboration and availability of telemedicine facility will lessen the burden of visits for minor ailments, as well reduce out of pocket expense, wage loss, and save patient time."

Dr. Binode Gogoi, Medical Officer, Naduwa Tea Garden Hospital, ACIL, contributed by saying, "We must be receptive to any fresh ideas. Until recently, the Indian Medical Association did not accept phone orders for prescription drugs. The idea of telemedicine has developed and evolved as a result of its acceptance, though."

"It is a welcome gesture, this initiative will help the tea garden management to address the health-related concerns of the tea garden workers and we are hopeful that WISH will collaborate with the government in identifying potential answers to our problems, said the Senior Manager Mohan Jamwal. The Tea Garden Union president added, "Through these efforts we can sensitize the tea garden authorities about our community's health needs and challenges. Involving the union members and line chowkidars to educate them on the concept of telemedicine will make the idea successful.

Mr. Nongyai, State Program and Technical Head, WISH emphasized his desire for LEHS and ACIL to work closely together during his remarks to the audience. He also discussed how new developments and technical improvements can be used to address primary care shortages. Workers in tea gardens can now access specialized consultations through the Tea Garden Digital Health and Wellness Center program. In order to screen for common illnesses including hypertension, diabetes mellitus, anemia, and others, point-of-care diagnostic tools (POCD) are also included. The concept was launched in tea gardens in September 2022 thanks to a partnership with ACIL.

Furthermore, according to Dinesh Songara, Deputy Director for Digital Health, WISH, "To enable the population to receive better and quicker care, we have deployed an AI-enabled ECG system that is linked with the teleconsultation system. We are trying to understand how hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and anemia may be avoided through community conversations."

About Wadhwani Initiative for Sustainable Healthcare (WISH)  : Wadhwani Initiative for Sustainable Healthcare (WISH) is the flagship program of the Lords Education and Health Society (LEHS), an Indian non-profit organization with a mission to strengthen primary healthcare systems through innovation.

Established in 2014, LEHSIWISH aims to reform the primary healthcare system by creating an egalitarian, innovation-driven healthcare ecosystem and making high-quality healthcare services available and affordable to all Indians.

Aparajita Ray,
Head, Strategic Communication,
E: aray@wishfoundationindia.org

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