STATE TIMES NEWSJAMMU: Access to quality healthcare for rural communities has garnered particular attention from legislators, policy makers and researchers in recent years. Since variety of elements contribute to lack of access to quality healthcare in rural areas, the problem needs to be viewed from multidisciplinary perspective. It was stated by Dr Sushil Sharma, HoD Cardiology, GMC Jammu on the sidelines of a health check-up cum awareness camp at Panchayat Jindlehar in R S Pura. “A vast literature from health and social sciences field suggests that the healthcare needs of individuals living in rural areas are different from those in urban areas, and rural areas often suffer from a lack of access to healthcare. These differences are result of geographic, demographic, socioeconomic, workplace and personal health factors. People living in rural areas also tend to have poorer socioeconomic conditions, less education, poor accessibility and higher rates of tobacco and alcohol use when compared to their urban counterparts,” he said. “There are also high rates of poverty among rural dwellers in many parts of the world, and poverty is one of the biggest social determinants of health. Some studies even indicate that life expectancy rates are higher in urban areas than in rural areas,” he asserted. Keeping in view the multidimensionality of issue concerning access to quality healthcare services among rural communities, Parmaarth Trust ‘Service before Self’ along with representatives of local bodies and eminent social activists of the aforesaid area requested Dr Sushil Sharma and his team to assess and sensitise common populace of the area about issues of imminent health concern. Earlier members of Parmaarth Trust sensitised local population about good hygiene habits and various central schemes available during the time of distress. More than 200 patients were examined, evaluated and treated for various health ailments during the camp. ECG, Blood Sugar, Lipid profile and other necessary tests were also conducted and advised. Medicines were also given to needy as per requirement. Others who were instrumental in the outreach activity included Dr Shahbaz Khan and Dr Wasim Ahmed. Paramedics and volunteers including Kamal Sharma, Raghav Rajput, Harvinder Singh, Rajinder Singh, Amandeep Singh, Mohd Altaf, Vikas Kumar, Raj Kumar, Rajiv Vohra, Sandeep Kohli, Dr Richa Sharma, Chairperson of Parmaarth Trust along with her team including Rahul Jamwal, Koshika Sharma, Heena Sharma, Shriya Mahajan, Shivam Shan, Pervek Thakur, Sanjana Sharma and Himanshi Guleria.
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