Mon | Jul 15, 2024

Outgoing Indian High Commissioner hosts 34th health camp

Published:Monday | May 27, 2024 | 12:11 AMAinsworth Morris/Staff Reporter
Dr Nagendra Babu Chandolu, of Ashish Health Care Centre, writes a prescription for Samuel Mitchell, a resident of Rae Town in Kingston, during the High Commission of India’s 34th medical camp at Holy Family Primary and Infant School, on Laws Street in do
Dr Nagendra Babu Chandolu, of Ashish Health Care Centre, writes a prescription for Samuel Mitchell, a resident of Rae Town in Kingston, during the High Commission of India’s 34th medical camp at Holy Family Primary and Infant School, on Laws Street in downtown Kingston yesterday.
left: Nurse Yolanda Warburton (left), of Ashish Health Care Centre, checks Rae Town resident Normalee Jones’ blood sugar levels.
left: Nurse Yolanda Warburton (left), of Ashish Health Care Centre, checks Rae Town resident Normalee Jones’ blood sugar levels.
Anuj Kumar Verma (left), of the Indian High Commission to Jamaica, and Dr Alekya Daram, of Ashish Health Care Centre, hand out medication to residents of Rae Town in Kingston at the High Commission of India 34th medical camp.
Anuj Kumar Verma (left), of the Indian High Commission to Jamaica, and Dr Alekya Daram, of Ashish Health Care Centre, hand out medication to residents of Rae Town in Kingston at the High Commission of India 34th medical camp.
Nurse Matilda Arava (left), of Ashish Health Care Centre, checks Mackayla Grizzle’s blood pressure while her mother, Taniesh Manley, looks on.
Nurse Matilda Arava (left), of Ashish Health Care Centre, checks Mackayla Grizzle’s blood pressure while her mother, Taniesh Manley, looks on.
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Approximately 100 Kingston residents streamed in and out of the Holy Family Primary and Infant School in downtown Kingston on Sunday to access pro bono health care, compliments of the Indian High Commission.

The health camp was one of two held yesterday, the other in Portmore in partnership with Andrews Memorial Hospital.

The brainchild of Masakui Rungsung, outgoing high commissioner of India to Jamaica, there have been 34 such health camps across the island over the last three years.

Within weeks Rungsung will depart Jamaica after his sojourn in a tropical paradise but he expects his monthly health care initiative to continue.

The project is the High Commission’s flagship designed to improve the relationship between the Caribbean island and the Indian territory.

He told The Gleaner on Sunday that thus far, with the help of partners, all stagings island wide have been successful and he hopes the incoming high commissioner will continue his dream.

“This has really been one of the most satisfying personally. I’ve told this very frequently, that we do it with zero budget. The reason this was possible is because we have the Indian doctors, Indian pharmaceutical companies helping us with the medicines. We have partner churches, hospitals, clinics, Members of Parliament, Ministers, and now with Andrew’s Memorial Hospital, we have a all-care pharmacy, so we have all these partners and I think it’s easy for us to continue this,” Rungsung told The Gleaner.

“This will continue. My doctors, the Indian company and the Indian pharmaceutical companies are very happy to continue this medical camp, so even if some leave the team is willing to serve the underserved, caring for the uncared for and also with the team that we have been doing it for the last three years, so definitely this will continue,” he said.

Speaking with The Gleaner at Holy Family, he said his most memorable experience was serving the less fortunate with the Mustard Seed Communities, as relief and satisfaction could be seen on the faces of patients who received free medical examinations, free eye tests, free prescriptions, free glasses, free dental examinations, free screening services, free blood pressure checks and more.

Rungsung said another camp is already planned for after his departure in July, which illustrates the level of commitment of the Indian High Commission and its people living in Jamaica.

Under his leadership in Jamaica, Rungsung has been able to revive Indian festivals and celebrations such as Holi and Diwali and implemented Bollywood, a dance festival hosted at Jamaica College in August 2023 where prominent dance troupes from India travelled to Jamaica and performed.

Although many of the residents who went for free health care did not know about Rungsung’s upcoming departure, they were grateful for the initiative.

“I could not see very well, and I came here today hoping not just to get tested, but to also get a pair of glasses, and I got the glasses,” Carolyn Prendergast, a resident of Laws Street, told The Gleaner after asking a doctor how she looked sporting her new pair of free prescribed glasses.

Another elderly patient, Jacinth Sloely, told The Gleaner that she is happy the Indian team came to her community.

“I give God thanks for them. Dem come to my door step. I live right across the road over there, and I cannot afford to go all the way to Kingston Public Hospital for a check up, and I was able to get it from them and my medication for free,” she said.

ainsworth.morris@gleanerjm.com