Dr. S. Ramananda Shetty, the vice chancellor of Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS), has stressed the importance of addressing psychological problems such as suicidal tendencies and depression among the flood victims of North Karnataka. He said that such problems usually surface 2 months after the disaster and must be addressed immediately.
Dr. Shetty informed press people that the RGUHS has set up a temporary disaster management cell in its premises in order to provide various health services to the flood victims. A team of 72 qualified doctors and nurses, guided by 12 expert physicians who have experience working with tsunami victims, will provide healthcare services in the flood-hit regions. This cell is in constant communication with government health officials and would function for 2 more months to address psychological problems.
Dr. Shetty also said that the staff of medical institutions affiliated to the university was already at work in flood-hit regions such as Davangere, Bagalkot, Gadag, Gulbarga, Koppal, Belgaum, Bijapur, Dharwad, Raichur, and Bellary. The university has established 133 nodal relief centers to provide healthcare services and has so far screened 37,000 people. The health authorities have taken care to see that the area does not suffer any shortage of medicine. Besides, a medical team has also been sent to Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, to provide healthcare services.
The university has donated Rs. 1 crore to the state government’s relief fund for flood victims. In addition, Dr. Shetty has also received a total of Rs. 15 lakh from a number of medical institutions in Mangalore for the government’s relief fund.