Mumbai team provides psychiatric succour to Nepal earthquake victims
The recent earthquake in Nepal that devastated life and property saw some medical help dropping in from a team of seven doctors and two non-medical volunteers from Mumbai. What was different is that this team carried not just medical aid, but also provided psychiatric support.
Dr Vishal Sawant
This was one of the few medical teams equipped to deal with the psychological conditions of the victims in the grief-stricken area. The initiative started with a Facebook comment and the help of the help of Mumbai-based NGO Pehl.
The team that attended to almost 3,000 patients in the first 5 days saw almost 30-40 per cent suffering from psychological distress. “There was a certain kind of numbness that had taken over all the victims that visited the makeshift clinic. Most of them showed signs of anxiety, depression, insomnia and loss of appetite and even panic attacks. Most of the older generations wore a numb look,” said psychiatrist Dr Vishal Sawant.
Lack of specialised medical aid is one of the major crises that the people have been facing. “People walked for up to three hours to reach our clinic,” added Sawant.
The locals are now picking up the pieces, but the psychological trauma caused is bound to haunt the citizens for a while.