The ITEMM scheme is a pioneering journey of MAHER into unchartered territory. The data presented shows an exponential increase in the number of camps organized annually with a corresponding increase in the student participation. The number of students undergoing this hands-on experience went up from 80 to 200 annually over a period of 5 years. Feedback obtained from the students and the faculty denote that ITEMM improved their communication skills, enhanced their cooperation and team spirit, augmented their lateral thinking and reinforced their clinical skills to offer effective medical help in resource poor settings.
ITEMM is a domiciliary rehabilitation scheme and a MAHER benchmark initiative to equip the physiotherapy students with an indispensable practical tool that is socially relevant to a rural community.
Goals of the Practice
Preparatory Training: The final year students of the BPT course participated in a one-day training session, organized to sensitize and equip them for the successful implementation of the program.
Logistics Management– MAHER provided unflinching support for logistic management ensuring provision of manpower, equipment and transportation. A fully equipped mobile physiotherapy van was procured for the purpose at the cost of 30,00,000/- (Thirty Lacs) along with the equipment cost.
Community participation– The outreach team of MAHER ensured the cooperation of the leaders from the pre identified rural communities thereby empowering them towards better health and well-being.
Plan implementation– The Physiotherapy students of MAHER set up the base camp in the central village under the supervision of the faculty. The lodging arrangements were provided by the villagers while the transportation and food were sponsored by MAHER. The students fanned out to the surrounding villages in batches of ten, where all needy patients were offered physiotherapy at their doorstep. The teams visited the villages continuously for seven days ensuring absolute patient compliance.
Self-Help Stations (SHS)– the establishment of Self-Help Stations in 15 villages was done in a period of 5 years costing approximately 3,00,000 (three Lacs). The SHS were set up in a well-ventilated room of the local school and equipped with basic instruments required for rehabilitation. Patients requiring chronic rehabilitation continued their physiotherapy at the SHS. A science teacher of the school was provided with basic knowledge and training to assist the patients in obtaining physiotherapy.
Tele-support– The SHS stations were supported through tele medicine provided by the faculty of physiotherapy of MAHER for as long as was necessary.
- The number of villages covered grew from 30 in 2017-18 to 55 in the year 2021-22 and the number of patient beneficiaries grew from 1013 in 2017-18 to 2507 in 2021-22. This indicated an increasing demand for the services provided by the ITEMM scheme and an expression of confidence from the rural communities.
- This best practice fulfilled the Institutional Social Responsibility, boosted the educational atmosphere and generated social soft power for the growth of MAHER. It also reflected the credibility of MAHER and served as an important agent of positive change for the Institution and the rural society that it served.
- ITEMM thus facilitated excellent patient compliance, early recovery and return to work with minimum loss of working man days and wages.