Medical camp in Pangi, Killad
The covid pandemic boxed the world into huddled cocoons. For three years the Lady Willingdon Hospital could not travel to the remote locations we usually service. This year we were able to do so. The first camp to Pangi, Killad was scheduled from May 24th to 28th 2022. The team with doctors, physiotherapist, dentist, eye technician, ultrasound and pharmacy set off enthusiastically on the 24th. The Atal tunnel has made the trip to Madgram, our peripheral center en route to Pangi a breeze. We were there in time for breakfast and then set off again towards Pangi. The very word Pangi has a connotation with a colloquial word “Panga”. Panga means “trouble”. And sure enough, our convoy of two vehicles was at first held up for three hours due to a bridge blocked en route, and then we heard that the road further ahead was also blocked, and would probably remain blocked all of that day. So, we returned to our base in Madgram, spent the night and set off the next morning, with the hope of being able to make it through. We did, but only at five pm on the 25th to reach our destination at nine pm!
Our camp consequently started a day late. Despite this we were able to see 550 patients in two days and take care of the folk here, who had long been hurting for the lack of specialized medical care. We were able to do minor procedures endoscopies, perform 150 ultrasound examinations, perform dental procedures and eye exams, and advise physiotherapy and distribute medicines. We found that the Pangi people had a deep trust in in the mission hospital. This was quite remarkable because our first foray into this remote region was met with intense distrust and suspicion, reflected in my earlier accounts of our visit.
Our final day was a camp back in Madgram centre prior to pushing back to Manali. Returning to Manali has now become a harrowing experience trapped in the miles long convoy of tourist vehicles returning from the tunnel! It took us approximately the same amount of time to do the last two kilometers as it did for us travel the last 80!
We are certainly very grateful to be back on the road again carrying our medical services to those who are deprived of basic health care due to their remote location.