Pune: Considering the health issues of truck drivers, helpers, and their families, NGO Piramal Swasthya inaugurated a mobile medical van recently at Nigdi and will provide free primary healthcare services and free medicines for them.
It was launched by Shriram Transport Finance Company (STFC) Limited in partnership with the NGO. Currently, 14 mobile medical vans focused on serving an average of 640 truckers daily are operational across India, funded by STFC and managed by NGO.
This single van will go to 11 places in the city twice a month and will have a doctor, a pharmacist and a nurse. Vishal Phanse, Chief Executive Officer, said, “This group is generally neglected and at times faces serious health issues. To address their health needs the Mobile Primary Healthcare Programme or the medical mobile van aims to conduct screening, diagnosis, treatment and referral for non-communicable diseases (diabetes & hypertension), communicable diseases and minor ailments.“
Phanse said, “We will study their problems and accordingly more mobile medical vans will be started soon. We will also start a toll-free number, so that trucker or helpers can call us in an emergency”.
Dilip Deshmukh, former vice president of Truck Transporter Association, said, “More than 10,000 trucks are coming to and from in Nigdi and there are 5,000 labourers. The truck drivers and their helpers are on duty for more than 18 hours a day and suffer from high blood pressure, acidity and heart problems.
They get minimum wages and travel to unknown places.“
Umesh Revankar, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of STFC commented, “Per unit of the van costs Rs 3 lakh to us and soon we are going to start this service in rural