Chhattisgarh on Monday became the first State in the country to launch AIIMS, Raipur-facilitated telemedicine project for members of fisheries cooperatives under the central flagship program me Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) through the National Cooperatives Development Corporation (NCDC).
Living in the harsh conditions, fishers are being seen as a vulnerable group with high risk of poor health outcomes compared to the general population. This is for the first time such an initiative has been taken for this community under the PMMSY.
Launching the project spanning three years, Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying, Parshottam Rupala at a virtual event here expressed hope that this would help members of fisheries cooperatives, who are mostly fisherwomen and fishermen in the remote coastal areas to be able to consult best doctors from AIIMS, Raipur for their medical needs.
After handing over a cheque for the Rs 50-lakh project to Dr Nitin M. Nagarkar, Director and CEO of the AIIMS Raipur to kickstart the project in a pilot mode from five centres, the Minister also asked the authorities to explore possibilities of providing similar facilities to marine fisheries who spend most of their time in sea for livelihood.
Proposed as a startup activity by AIIMS, Raipur, the project is being launched in a pilot mode from five centres namely PHC Patan (Durg district), PHC Saja (Bemetara), PHC Ratanpur (Bilaspur), PHC Dhamtari (Chamtari) and AIIMS Raipur (Raipur). Later on, more districts will be covered under the project.
NCDC MD Sundeep Nayak said that with the launch of the facilities, the Government aims to bridge health disparities among fishermen and fisherwomen communities associated with their respective cooperatives in the State.
“It will also help them to take more informed decision on prevention, diagnosis and health condition,” said Jatindra Nath Swain, Secretary, Department of Fisheries.