Hyderabad : During these unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic, elderly people are the most vulnerable due to their diminishing immunity; things could become worse if they cannot afford medicine or treatment. While the vaccine to fight Corona is still a far cry, awareness and prevention remain the best protection.
For the benefit of the elderly underprivileged sections in the adjoining villages of the Hyderabad International Airport, the Hyderabad unit of GMR Varalakshmi Foundation (GMRVF), the CSR wing of GMR Group has been organizing awareness camps on COVID-19 through its Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) since the beginning of the pandemic.
While the services of MMU were suspended for close to a month owing to the lockdown; it was a restarted from April 15 onwards serving the needy once again. The MMU along with many social development programmes are running under the CSR initiatives of GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL). The MMU services supported by GHIAL have been running since the last 15 years.
GMRVF Mobile Medical Unit – Clinic on wheels:
GMRVF’s Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) – a clinic on wheels is a regular service in collaboration with HelpAge to provide primary healthcare services to people living in rural and under-served areas mainly with the objective of taking healthcare service delivery to the doorsteps of under-privileged people. An MMU is staffed by one Doctor, one pharmacist and a driver. This unit is also accompanied by a Social Worker or health worker to assist in awareness and regular medical checks. During the pandemic, the Mobile Medical Unit at GMRVF-Hyderabad Unit has gone beyond their regular services by sensitizing local communities about COVID-19 and ways to prevent oneself from this virus.
Social Interventions During COVID-19 Pandemic:
Since May 18, other than GMRVF has been conducting free regular health checkups and medicine distribution through its Mobile Medical Unit to senior citizens in the villages around the airport. Till date, nearly 2,400 elderly people from 13 villages have been benefited from this. All beneficiaries are also being educated on COVID-19 precautions, emphasizing on the importance of safe distance, wearing mask, sanitization, personal hygiene, nutrition, immunity, diet and etc.
Apart from this, recently, with the support of UNPFA (United Nations Population Fund), GMRVF’s Mobile Medical Unit has organized 12 camps to spread awareness on corona through distribution of pamphlets. In these camps as well free regular health screening and distribution of medicines were done to the needy which benefitted close to 900 senior citizens and GHMC (Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation) workers.
Dry Ration Kits Distribution:
During the lockdown period, GMRVF distributed dry ration kits (rice, dal, oil, soaps and essentials) to elderly people in various places of Hyderabad like – Airport Colony, Mamidipally, Gollapally, Charinagar, Shamshabad, Rashidguda, Ranganayakula Thanda and etc. 337 elderly people have benefited in these villages. Also, with the support of WIPRO foundation, GMRVF distributed about 300 grocery kits to deserving elderly people in MMU operating sites.