Medical care for earthquake survivors
A challenge to rise to
After surviving the disaster, many people find themselves isolated in the struggle to face up to the extreme challenges of their newly precarious lives. Apart from practical problems, their welfare has been compromised by the physical and psychological traumas they have suffered.
But whilst, on the one hand, the earthquake survivors’ health requirements have increased, on the other, access to the specialist healthcare they need has become confounded by the very event that gave rise to the intensified need. Difficulties in communication and transportation mean the specialist health support readily available to these people is insufficient. This lack is especially evident for children and the elderly; heart, brain, skin, psychiatric and women’s health problems are also known to increase in post-earthquake areas. There is an urgent need to fill this gap, in both the immediate and medium term.
The TeleHealth Points solution
The solution presented by the Science for Life Foundation, with the patronage of the Dicasterium ad Integram Humanam Progressionem Fovendam, involves taking mobile hospital units with telemedicine capabilities, known as TeleHealth Points, for a one-year period to the zones affected.
The TeleHealth Points are furnished with a suite of equipment (EKG, ultrasound, and first aid tools), manned by qualified doctors and nurses, and connected via advanced satellite-powered telemedicine technology to the main Italian hospitals, where specialist consultants provide support remotely.
Medical visits will be available in areas such as paediatrics, geriatrics, gynaecology, cardiology, neurology, dermatology and psychiatry, among others.