UAE: On call 24/7, taking medication to stranded; how doctors are reaching out in post-rain crisis

Some of the most common symptoms being seen in residents are vomiting, diarrhea

by

Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Mon 22 Apr 2024, 10:27 AM

Last updated: Mon 22 Apr 2024, 10:41 PM

For the last four days, Dr. Satish Kosuri has been working almost non-stop. The General Practitioner at Aster Volunteers Mobile Medical Services has been going around Sharjah providing medical help to those stranded in the emirate after the recent torrential rains and flooding.

“There are two of us doctors who are riding around the emirate and eight who are providing tele-consultation support,” he said, speaking to Khaleej Times. “People are calling us all the time, either to ask for medication or to give us information about someone who needs support. So literally, we are on call 24 hours.”


Young patients

As he goes around, Dr. Satish has attened to many young patients, including a newborn. “The baby was just 2 or 3 days old and ill,” he said. “The mother was also quite sick so after checking them, we got medicines and food delivered to them.”

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Dr Satish Kosuri
Dr Satish Kosuri

He also shared how a volunteer flagged the case of a very sick three-month old. “The baby had very high fever and was shivering,” he said. “We knew the baby needed immediate medical attention. We asked the volunteer to bring the baby to the hospital. It was a very challenging task and it took a few hours to bring the baby and its mother to the hospital. By the time they reached the volunteer also began to feel dizzy. We admitted both of them into the hospital.”

Common diseases

Some of the most common symptoms being seen in residents of the area are vomiting and diarrhoea.

Dr. Farhath is a general practitioner with Sabah Al Noor medical center that has been providing free medical services across all three of its branches in Sharjah and Dubai for flood victims.

“We have had many patients coming into our clinic complaining of vomiting and diarrhea,” she said. “Sewage water has seeped into the tanks of many buildings due to the floods and many people are falling sick because of it.”

Dr. Farhath advised everyone to exercise caution. “Most of the patients we saw noticed the smell of the water and stopped using it immediately,” she said. “But even using it one time can cause health issues. I want to tell people to not use this water even to shower as this can also lead to problems. If they notice any difference in the water, people should immediately switch to mineral water.”

Dr Farhath
Dr Farhath

However, she admitted that this is easier said than done. “A lot of people are unable to even get out of their building for necessities,” she said. “For them, getting access to mineral water is very challenging. Thankfully, there are many volunteers on the ground who are helping out.”

Rallying together

According to Dr. Satish, the most heartening thing he has seen among UAE residents is a sense of humanity. “Even though some people we pass by on streets are sick, they will ask us not to waste time getting to them and instead go to another family who needs our services more,” he said.

“We have met many people on the street, sometimes in waist-deep water giving us directions and telling us not to take certain roads as there is a possibility we could get stuck.”

He said one of the volunteers who has been driving them around was a patient himself. “He came into the clinic because he was sick,” he said. “When we said that we are volunteering in Sharjah, he offered to drive us around because he has a big truck. He has been diligently with us for four days now and keeps insisting that he wants to help in whatever way he can.”

Dr. Satish also commended authorities for their support. “Different agencies are working together to help us access hard-to-reach areas and ensure that we are able to provide medical assistance,” he said. “It is amazing to see how the community has come together to help each other.”

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