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Lifeline Express for delivering health services

This topic provides information about Lifeline Express for delivering health services to the unreached.

The Lifeline Express, better known as Jeevan Rekha Express, is a unique idea of delivering health services to masses, especially the under-privileged. It is a mobile hospital train which travels all over rural India as a part of free medical treatment to the neglected poor. It is an initiative of the Impact India, a non-profit organisation, in association with the Health Ministry and the Indian Railways along with co- funding by Impact UK. The initiative started on 16 July 1991.

Objective

The Lifeline express was started to provide on-the-spot diagnostic, medical and advanced surgical treatment for preventive and curative interventions for disabled adults and children for outreach into inaccessible rural areas where medical services are not available; offered using the Indian Railway Network which is the largest in the world comprising about 63,500 kilometres of tracks. In addition to providing access to these much needed service, the Lifeline express seeks to improve the efficiency of the existing local government and voluntary health infrastructure and services, as well as providing initiative and encouragement for the local bodies to get involved in all aspects of the programme and provide follow-up services after the train has left.

Services

The Lifeline Express provides a number of medical services including

  • Orthopaedic and surgical intervention for correction of handicap and restoration of movement, especially those as a result of polio.
  • Ophtamological procedures and interventions, e.g. cataract surgery and Intraocular lenses.
    Audiometry and surgical interventions for restoration of hearing.
  • Surgical correction of Cleft palate.
  • Epilepsy – Screening and treatment clinic run by a Neurologist along with counselling and education about epilepsy given by Epilepsy counsellors
  • Counselling and referral services.
  • Liaison with local health authorities and follow-up.
  • Immunisations and other preventive measures.
  • Nutritional assessment and services.
  • Promotion of Health awareness among the deprived in the neglected rural and semi-urban areas
  • Providing training to medical and allied-health professionals and other voluntary personnel in surgical procedures, medical and health issues for work in unique field situations.

The train visits different parts of the country, usually rural areas with insufficient medical facilities, or areas hit by natural disasters, etc., and stays in each place for several days while medical care (routine as well as major surgery) is provided to the local people.

Facilities

Each Lifeline express train, with specially designed air-conditioned coaches, has one surgical operation theatre with three operating tables, a sterilizing room, several patient wards, on-board power generators, a pantry car, storage for medical supplies, and accommodation for medical staff.

The Lifeline express has seven coaches. The first coach consists of the office and the medical store, as well as two autoclave units. It also houses a drawing room. The Staff compartment is situated at the rear with a 12 berth staff-quarter, kitchen unit, water purifier, a gas stove and electric oven and refrigerator. The train has a main Operation Theatre with three operating tables and a second self-contained operating theatre with two tables. In the main theatre, each table has its own set of anesthetic equipment, shadow lights, Boyles apparatus with Halothene Vapourisers and imported Carl Zeiss microscope, multi-purpose monitor, defibrillator, diathermy cautery machine, anesthesia ventilator etc. The theatres are equipped with a closed circuit television camera which is used in providing training to local doctors in live surgical procedures. An attached six bed recovery room is situated beside the main theatre. The Lifeline Express also has a self contained operation theatre. The second theatre is powered by an independent 75 KVA Diesel Generating set and this can be detached to form a stand-alone operation theatre, and is to be used in disaster management.

Additionally, the train has an Ophthalmologic testing room, a Laboratory, a X-Ray unit and an auditorium with a large LCD display unit. The train also has a public address system and closed-circuit TV.  Two additional coaches of the Lifeline Express (LLE) has been introduced recently to deliver cancer and family health services. The coaches will be used for detection & control of oral, breast and cervical cancer, and prevention of stroke and for family health services.

Source : Rail News

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