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Health Camps

In the wake of the tsunami, four health camps were organized in the villages of Chinnamudaliarchavady, Koonimedukuppam, Sodanaikuppam and Kanagachettikulamkuppam. The local villagers were examined by a team of 20 doctors, pharmacists and social workers from the Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS).

Registration was done by a doctor and field worker from Auroville Village Action; they discussed the problems individually, entered the information on a registration card and then sent the patient to one of seven different departments (ear, nose and throat, pediatrics, dermatology, general medicine, orthopedics, surgery, and gynecology) where they were examined by a specialist.

The examination and treatment at the health camp, free of cost for the villagers, were made possible by a donation of 5 lakhs ($11,360) from AVI-USA.
The first medical problems encountered were open wounds and respiratory problems, the latter not a direct affect of the tsunami but of the local wood-burning cooking traditions. Follow-up medical care is paid for by the patient, but in exceptional cases people can apply for financial support from Auroville Tsunami Rehabilitation office.

Now there are no residual injuries or diseases resulting from the tsunami; major problems are undernourishment, lack of vitamins and infections.
German medical trainees observed that the village children still have many fears, more so than physical injuries, resulting from the tsunami. A member of the Auroville Tsunami Relief and Rehabilitation team was touched by the gratitude of the villagers and the patience with which they waited in the heat (in separate lines for men and women) for their turns to see a doctor.