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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 3-5

Organizing a health camp in the post-COVID era – Opportunity for establishing a public reconnection

Department of Community Medicine, Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Date of Submission15-Nov-2021
Date of Decision15-Jan-2022
Date of Acceptance07-Feb-2022
Date of Web Publication25-Mar-2022

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Prem Sagar Panda
Department of Community Medicine, Kushabhadra Campus 5, Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar-751024, Odisha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jphpc.jphpc_38_21

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In India, 60% of the population lack basic medical facilities, so health camps which provide short-term medical interventions for target communities may be beneficial. Health camps are mobile and are conducted in different locations by qualified doctors, nurses, and paramedics and community health workers. In most cases, these health camps are funded by non government organisations (NGO' s), trusts or renowned hospitals. In the post-COVID era, the Department of Community Medicine Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar, organized a health camp at the rural health training center (RHTC), Kalarabanka, on the eve of World Stroke Day on October 29, 2021. A total of 60 people attended the camp. The department of community medicine provided consultation to the villagers of Kalarabanka with the help of faculties, postgraduates, interns, and staffs of RHTC. The majority of patients were males and of the age group 15–59 years. Organizing a health camp provides an opportunity for the need assessment of the community, also helps in finding the disease burden of the community. It also helps the community in availing quality primary health-care services at their doorstep. Furthermore, the residents who conduct the camp develop organizational and communication skills apart from clinical skills.

Keywords: Communication skill, health camp, organizational skill, public health skill

How to cite this article:
Panda PS, Kanyari S, Kar A, Senapati TR. Organizing a health camp in the post-COVID era – Opportunity for establishing a public reconnection. J Public Health Prim Care 2022;3:3-5

How to cite this URL:
Panda PS, Kanyari S, Kar A, Senapati TR. Organizing a health camp in the post-COVID era – Opportunity for establishing a public reconnection. J Public Health Prim Care [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 May 27];3:3-5. Available from: http://www.jphpc.com/text.asp?2022/3/1/3/340811

  Background Top

Every individual has the right to health care, but a lack of quality infrastructure, scarcity of competent medical personnel, and lack of access to essential medicines and medical facilities prevent Indian residents from receiving it. Health camps are effective strategies used by both government and non-government organizations, associations, and societies of varying scope and interest. A health camp's main goal and scope are to spread health care facilities in the given area, promote health care, early screening, and detection of disease, reach the unreached community population, and raise awareness of various diseases.[1] Health camps can be organized by health institutions (Private or Government) or NGOs or trusts or profitable organizations. The camps may be sporadic/single specialty or multispecialty and they can also be conducted in association with a day celebration such as world diabetes day, world stroke day, and world heart day.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, the health system was worst hit, and people were deprived of getting the adequate health services. When health systems are overwhelmed, both direct mortality from an outbreak and indirect mortality from vaccine-preventable and treatable conditions increase dramatically. Countries will need to make difficult decisions to balance the demands of responding directly to COVID-19, while simultaneously engaging in strategic planning and coordinated action to maintain essential health service delivery, mitigating the risk of system collapse.[2]

  Organization of the Camp Proper Top

Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), Bhubaneswar, is one of premier institutions of Odisha to correct the regional imbalance of health care and with an aim to reach the last man in queue with quality health care in different locations of Odisha. The institute celebrated World Stroke Day on October 29, 2021, with the theme of “Minutes can save Lives, Learn the signs, say it's a stroke, Save #Precious time.” World Stroke Day 2021 focuses on the Precious Time campaign which aims to raise awareness about stroke symptoms and the benefits of acting Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, and Timely emergency service to identify a stroke and access emergency medical care. When somebody has a stroke, every second that goes by is crucial, as brain tissue and millions of neurons begin to fade away, time could not be more precious.

Kalarabanka is about 35 km from KIMS, Bhubaneswar. The rural health and training center (RHTC) caters 39 villages covering an area of 68 km2, population of 54,260 (2011 census), and families of 9943. Kalarabanka has 48 anganwadi centers with 7 subcenters is functioning as a multispecialty hospital cum training center with the outpatient department (OPD), inpatient department, emergency, laboratory and pharmacy services.

The RHTCs are integral part of the Department of Community Medicine of a medical college and provide learning opportunities to medical students, interns, and postgraduates. Community medicine is the specialist branch of medicine, which is concerned with the health of all the people living in defined area. The aim of community medicine is to promote, protect, and preserve the health of the people. It requires more of preventive medicine, special care for those at risk, and primary health care to everyone. It includes managing community health through community diagnosis and varied actions ranging from community interventions to individual.[3]

To conduct a health camp, planning is the primary phase. This phase includes mapping out the overall aspect of health camp including venue, workforce planning, financial planning, resource allocation, logistics, and transportation planning with proper planning monitoring and supervision in between the camp.[4] Due to COVID, the routine activities except emergency services in the RHTC were closed as doctors and staffs were engaged in dedicated COVID hospitals managed by KIMS in different parts of Odisha. After reopening of the center, a health camp was organized by the department of community medicine with the help of interns and paramedical staffs of RHTC with an intention to make a call to the community for restarting of usual health services. Proper banner, hoarding materials were installed and interaction was done with the village leaders beforehand after receipt of the approval of the KIMS hospital management. All educational materials were printed for circulation. Parallel OPDs and counseling centers were opened on the day of camp.

  Findings of the Health Camp Top

A total of 60 people attended the camp. The majority of patients were males and of the age group 15–59 years. All the participants were from the same village due to COVID-19 restrictions proper time for publicity about the camp was not available. The camp details are presented in [Table 1].
Table 1: Reach of the camp

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From the findings of the camp, it was found that through opportunistic screening, 3 of 60 (Hypertension) and 7 of 60 (Diabetes Mellitus) patients were diagnosed for the first time.

Apart from the treatment aspect, health education through one-to-one interaction, educational material distribution, and role play also plays a vital role. This was also practiced in this health camp with a motive to increase awareness about stroke among the villagers/camp attendees.

  Lessons Learned from the Health Camp Top

From the camp approach, it was found that the majority of participants had hypertension and, in a community, the noncommunicable diseases mostly visible as a tip of iceberg either due to the lack of awareness or unmet need of the health system. Being community physicians, the community-based outreach activity must be planned timely basis to reach the unreached and to provide primary health care at doorstep. The Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT) analysis national health program NPCDCS (National Program for Prevention and Control of Cardiovascular diseases, Diabetes, Cancer, and Stroke) must be done at that place. Due to post-COVID unlocking phases, there were less participants who attended the camp. With further unlocking and creating awareness, a greater number of participants can be expected in upcoming camps. Beforehand publicity of the camp and involving village leaders will also increase the attendance of the camp and analyzing the data will give a view on the disease burden in that area. Based on the findings, the unmet need either due to fault in the health system or lack of awareness can be addressed and the health system can be strengthened. It will also provide resident doctors the opportunity to practice the theoretical learning from classroom to ground zero.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Gajuryal SH, Gautam S, Satyal N, Pant B. Organizing a Health Camp: Management Perspective. Nep. Med. J. [Internet]. 2019;2:196-8. Available from: https://www.nepjol.info/index.php/nmj/article/view/23557. [Last accessed on 2022 Mar 04].  Back to cited text no. 1
Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) Technical Guidance: Maintaing Essential Health Services & System. Available from: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance/maintaining-essential-health-services-and-systems. [Last accessed on 2021 Nov 10].  Back to cited text no. 2
Technical and Operational Guidelines for Rural and Urban Health Training Centre Attached with Community Medicine Department of Medical Colleges as per the Guidelines of Medical Council of India. Available from: http://iapsm.org/pdf/Operational_guidelines%20for%20UHTC_RHTC_Final_March_18.pdf. [Last accessed on 2021 Nov 10].  Back to cited text no. 3
Karki DB, Dixit H, Neopane A. Medical camps and their usefulness. Kathmandu Univ Med J (KUMJ) 2005;3:449-50.  Back to cited text no. 4


  [Table 1]


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