WWF-India and Apollo Hospitals Foundation on Wednesday announced the renewal of their partnership under the ‘Specialised Medical Scheme’, where free medical treatment and recovery support is provided to frontline forest staff in case of medical emergency.
The MoU was signed by vice-chairperson, Apollo Hospitals Foundation, Upasana Kamineni Konidela and WWF COO Karan Bhalla. The pact came into being in 2015, to provide medical support to forest staff and local communities in areas where WWF-India was actively working for species and landscape conservation.
Under the new partnership, medical support will be provided across 18 States of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Health screening camps for frontline forest staff and community members and specialised medical treatment during attacks by wild animals, fall from elevated areas, accidents while patrolling in vehicles, fire-fighting operations, diseases like malaria, dengue, venomous bites/stings, electrocution, etc., would be provided.
Over 1500 frontline staff have benefited from the health screening camps in Assam and Tamil Nadu over the past few years. “We cherish this partnership and there is tremendous value,” said Mr. Bhalla, while CEO Ravi Singh said it would provide immediate and expert medical care to local communities and frontline personnel protecting forests and wildlife. “We feel it’s out duty to contribute to safeguard our forests by taking care of the people who man them,” said Ms. Konidela.