Guwahati: Lifeline Express, the world’s first hospital train, reached Churaibari Railway Station of North Tripura district. Lifeline Express is a train healthcare service which was set up as a joint initiative of Impact India Foundation, Indian Railways and Ministry of Health in 1991. Over a thousand patients from far-flung rural hamlets of North Tripura district have been treated at this mobile train Hospital since Tuesday
Speaking to the media, Lifeline Express Joint Director Anil Premsagar on Wednesday informed that the hospital train received good response among local people and has attended to over a thousand patients in the first two days.
“We received 400 patients on the first day. It is 4 PM now and we have already received 600 patients. The idea behind the train is to provide diagnostic, medical and advanced surgical treatment to persons with disabilities and reach out to inaccessible rural areas that lack medical services”, he said.
Among those who received treatment on the ‘hospital train’ so far, 77 cataract patients were identified, who would undergo surgery from Thursday.
“We have identified 77 cataract patients here so far. We shall commence surgery from tomorrow. We offer surgeries on eye and ear conditions, plastic surgery, orthopedic surgery and treatment of oral, breast and cervical cancer on Lifeline Express”, Premsagar informed.
Chief Medical Officer, Jagadish Chandra Nama said, 11 health department personnel were deployed at Churaibari to assist authorities on board the train. This is a great service and we shall support it in every way, he said.
Churaibari Assistant Station Superintendent Prasanta Bhattacharjee informed that the train arrived in Tripura on December 16. It has started offering treatment since Tuesday and would continue its services till January 06 next year.
Lifeline Express was initially supposed to be stationed at Kumarghat railway station in Tripura. But it was routed to Churaibari due to the absence of siding line and problems of Food Corporation of India (FCI) work at Kumarhat.
Its services were opened up at Churaibari on Tuesday by North Tripura district magistrate Raval Hamendra Kumar.
The mobile train hospital has conducted 1.30 lakh surgeries and treated over 10 lakh patients in its Out Patient Department (OPD) across 184 districts in 20 states of the country till now.
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. It is an outreach program for inaccessible rural areas where medical services are not available, traveling via Indian Railways. In addition to providing access to these much needed services, 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.
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