Amid covid19, doctors treat patients through online medium

When Nayeem Ahmad suffered severe headache accompanied by high blood pressure, he could not venture outside to seek medical advice due to the ongoing lockdown.

A worried Ahmad then through a contact came across a helpline mobile application of Doctors’ Association of Kashmir (DAK) where he consulted a doctor on Whatsapp messenger.

Ahmad is among 7605 patients who have used this application in last two weeks.  “As the OPDs of major hospitals are shut and private doctors unavailable, I found myself in a fix. But my friend advised me to seek help through online medium, where a doctor gave me medicines,” Ahmad said adding “he download DAK helpdesk app from the website JKDAK.in.”

The helpline has come as handy for patients who are getting treatment without having to venture outside their homes. “I also consulted a doctor through this helpline and showed him my wife’s USG report through messenger. The doctor suggested some medicines and it saved me from venturing outside amid lockdown,” said Muhammad Ismail, a Srinagar resident.

Talking to Greater Kashmir, President, DAK, Dr Suhail Naik said the idea of helpline based treatment is replica of western model. “This is helping us in two ways by reducing burden on healthcare infrastructure and minimizing risk of exposure to corona scare.” The Association, however, decried continuous ban on high-speed internet connectivity in Kashmir.  “When the corona scare has taken world by storm, medicos in west are providing treatment through video calls. But unfortunately Kashmir continues to face ban on the high speed internet. We are handicapped to provide treatments through video calls. Besides lectures by renowned medicos on treatment to covid-19 patients which are available online, also could not be accessed by doctors in Kashmir due this ban.”