Meet lady doctor, Dr. Ashwathi Soman, who treks about 10 Km into deep forests to save man in the remote tribal hamlet, Panappuzha ooru, located in the forests of Nilambur in Kerala. Dr. Ashwathi Soman is the public medical officer of Nilambur’s mobile dispensary. For her, work and service stand above personal comfort.
Last week, she went on a difficult 10 Km trek with her team to provide medical care for a tribal man, 58-year-old Ravi who was suffering from constant bleeding in his right foot. Ravi is a member of the socially hostile tribe known as Chola Naykar. Ravi was injured in his right toe and it became severed because of the tribe hesitance to make contact with the mainstream society. His wound was severely infected.
The information about Ravi’s accident reached one of the Nilambur’s nodal medical offices on June 18 after which Dr. Soman rushed to the forest officials of the region to get the full knowledge about accessing the tribal settlement. Later she found out that the only way to reach Ravi is to trek about 10 km into the forest. She got equipped with all the medical paraphernalia to perform a surgery and reached Ravi with a 10-member team comprising of two nursing staff from the Malappuram taluk hospital, a couple of safety officials and forest officers.
Dr. Soman said, “We were accompanied by tribal watchers. We traveled half the way in a car and some of the rest by a jeep. About 10 km from our destination, we saw some huge trees blocking our path. We decided to trek the remaining distance. The local inhabitants used axes and ropes to remove huge logs from our way. We had to climb rocks, slippery slopes and steep hillsides to reach the tribal settlement,”
When Dr. Soman and her team reached the tribal settlement, Ravi had lost a lot of blood due to the severe infection and the only way to save Ravi was to cut off the infected toe. Also, Ravi has diabetes which also restricted Dr. Soman to perform the surgery. Further, she made it with a tight bandage to avoid any more blood loss.
Source: The Better India
However, the most challenging part for Dr. Soman was to convince Ravi to come down to their hospital for a better medical care. She also warned with the worse consequences of that would create pain for him if his toe did not receive effective medical care. “I told him he would lose his toe today, a leg tomorrow and life the day after. Luckily, that scared him, and he got ready to accompany us downhill,” Dr. Awasthi Soman said.
Ravi would have probably lost his life if it had not been for Dr. Soman’s commitment to steady decision and profession for getting medical care as soon as possible for a member of the tribal community.
Ravi’s infected toe has been successfully amputated and he is currently recovering at Malappuram taluk hospital. We respect Dr. Ashwathi Soman and his great team who leave office comforts and clinics and rushed deep into the forest for saving a man from a tribal community irrespective of geographical conditions and temperament.