He roped in doctors from JJ, Hinduja, Sion, Bombay hospitals to facilitate online consultation; also got timely diagnosis of cancer in 26 persons
A villager consults with a doctor online at the DigiSwasthya centre; Sandeep Yadav is all set to start another centre in Muzaffarnagar
Back in 2007, Sandeep Yadav was 12, and a cancer patient. He recovered after a long and painful treatment in Mumbai. As a grown up, he decided to help cancer patients and so did a course on professional oncology care giving, then began working with various NGOs in Mumbai. The bone cancer survivor was in his home town near Gorakhpur for his masters, when the pandemic struck and the lockdown was announced, changing his life further. Troubled by the limited healthcare prospects for locals and how residents in rural areas struggle to get the right diagnosis from doctors, he launched a telemedicine venture and roped in 45 doctors from JJ, Hinduja, Sion and Bombay hospitals to facilitate online consultation.
In just one year, Yadav, 26, ensured medical care for 650 people, including more than 100 Covid-19 patients. His efforts also resulted in timely diagnosis of cancer in 26 people. Buoyed by the outcome of his first project, Yadav, who had been working in Mumbai since 2015, is all set to start another centre in Muzaffarnagar, UP.
Yadav said he decided to work for the well-being of people after he underwent the struggle of getting rightly diagnosed and treated for cancer. “I have gone through the pain of running from pillar to post in my village. I was finally diagnosed with bone cancer in a Gorakhpur hospital. But the doctor said they would have to amputate my hands to treat me,” said Yadav. His father then decided to get him to Mumbai where he underwent 14 chemotherapy cycles at Tata hospital and a small surgery to beat the cancer.
How he stayed back
Yadav said, “I was to take a train to Mumbai a day after the lockdown was announced in India.” He said women, children and senior citizens suffer the most health wise in rural India, and via his NGO DigiSwasthya, he reached out to this population in every village in his district. Yadav guides the people to the right hospitals in case they need specialised treatment. Needless to say, the doctors who help him, do so for free.
“When Yadav approached me last year to do online consultation for people in his village, I felt proud of his efforts and readily agreed. DigiSwasthya, the NGO that he started, provides medical assistance to the patients in rural areas through virtual consultation with doctors. It offers primary health check-up through online doctor consultations and also helps in providing treatment and financial aid to the patients. We also conduct health awareness camps and guide the patients to appropriate healthcare regime and doctor referrals,” said Dr Shweta Bansal, paediatric oncologist in Mumbai who treated Yadav.