A dentist checks a girl and (below) patients register themselves for the free medical camp in Mango on Sunday. Telegraph pictures
XLRI has embarked on a unique mission to save the needy from quacks by giving them free medical check-ups.
City-based dentist Mohammad Zafar, an alumnus of Entrepreneurship Development Centre at XLRI, hosted a free medical camp for below-poverty-line persons on Sunday at Azad Basti in association with Elite Hospital and XLRI.
Though the camp was held on Sunday, its preparations started a week ago.
To make sure residents knew about the initiative, eight XLRI students carried out a weeklong campaign in the neighbourhood, asking residents to attend the camp and get free medical check-ups.
The response was worth the groundwork. As many as 258 patients visited the camp with a wide range of health issues cutting across general medicine, surgery, dental and oral hygiene, urology, paediatrics, gynaecology, obstetrics, orthopaedics and neurology.
Specialists from Elite Hospital attended to the patients. The organisers also decided that if any patient attending the camp was advised a pathological examination or any form of extended treatment, the facility would be provided at Elite Hospital at a discount of 25 per cent.
Zafar at present runs two dental clinics at Sakchi and Mango, where he offers treatment to the poor at subsidised rates.
“After I opened the dental clinic in Mango, I realised poor people avoid visiting hospitals because of the cost involved. So, they end up visiting ill-trained quacks, who usually compound the disease. We started this free camp to sensitise them and encourage them to come forward and take free medical advice. We will have more such camps,” he said.
Zafar and his team also distributed about 35 health cards, which ensures a six-member family’s dental health for only Rs 100.
“This is a noble and smart initiative launched by my former student Md Zafar. I have encouraged a group of students from our institute’s flagship programme to join hands with him in this endeavour,” said Prabal K. Sen, chairperson of XLRI’s entrepreneurship wing.