Char Dham Yatra pilgrims share their medical history during online registration

The Uttarakhand government has directed health authorities to collect medical histories from pilgrims during the online registration process to ensure medical care is given to the sick during the Char Dham Yatra, which is scheduled to begin on April 22.

The decision was made to ensure that sick pilgrims receive medical care during the Char Dham Yatra. {{^userSubscribed}} {{/userSubscribed}} {{^userSubscribed}} {{/userSubscribed}}

The move comes after the record death toll of pilgrims during the Char Dham Yatra passed the 300 mark in 2022.

Chief Secretary SS Sandhu said at a meeting at the Secretariat in Dehradun on Friday night on strengthening the health system during Char Dham Yatra: “The medical history of pilgrims should be taken into account when registering for Char Dham Yatra and the medical staff should consider the health of pilgrims over 55 years of age.” screen, while people under 55 who seem unwell should also be medically screened.”

Instructions were also issued that the pilgrims enrolled in the yatra should be given information about the health problems they are likely to face due to the difficult geographical terrain, and all do’s and don’ts should be made available to the pilgrims in doing so as a matter of priority take into account

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The state government has also sent a proposal to the Union government to provide an air ambulance facility to transport the sick pilgrims to the higher medical centers without any time delay to alleviate the deaths during the Char Dham Yatra.

State Health Minister Dhan Singh Rawat said, “The government has completed preparations for the Char Dham Yatra, which will be approved by the Union government on 22.”

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He said the state government and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Rishikesh will jointly operate the ambulance and take the sick pilgrims, especially on the Kedarnath-Yatra route, by ambulance to AIIMS Rishikesh or Srinagar Medical College for quick treatment carry.

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The number of medical aid camps on the Kedarnath and Yamunotri routes will be increased and instructions have been given to encourage hotel and Dharamshala operators to organize and deploy the first responders of the medical staff during the yatra season.

Over 300 people died during the Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand last year, with the state government claiming that 80 percent of the deaths were due to medical ailments, the highest of which was the incidence of cardiac arrest, particularly among the elderly pilgrims.

Indian Medical Association (IMA) Uttarakhand Central Working Committee member DD Chaudhry said: “The Indian Medical Association Uttarakhand has over 2,500 registered members in the state and can contribute to the provision of better healthcare facilities during the yatra season, but is never consulted for the reason .”

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“The state’s private medical colleges can be involved to provide well-trained medical personnel on the Yatra route, and standby air ambulances, particularly at Kedarnath and Yamunotri, should be a top priority,” he added.

Dehradun-based social activist Anoop Nautiyal said: “During the Char Dham Yatra last year, over 300 deaths were reported, of which 99 occurred in the first 25 days after the start of the Yatra and 80 percent were due to medical ailments. The high number of deaths was due to pilgrims rushing to Char Dham shrines without adjusting to the difficult geographical terrain.”

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“Pilgrims should be advised during the registration process itself to acclimatize and adapt to lower altitudes in the state for a few days before embarking on the Char Dham Yatra journey, which would result in a reduction in fatalities,” he said.

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He said devotees should also avoid carrying infants and young children to the shrines, which involve difficult footpaths such as Kedarnath and Yamunotri.

Chamoli District Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Rajeev Sharma, said: “12 health kiosks similar to health vending machines will be set up in the district, two of which will be in Badrinath and one each in Joshimath, Pipal Koti, Gopeshwar, Pandukehswar, Govind Ghat, Ghangria, Joshimath and Gauchar. All kinds of medical tests, including blood pressure, etc., are carried out through these kiosks in the district.”

The older pilgrims are advised to bring their old medical reports and are advised to take the yatra after a thorough examination, he said.

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The district administration in Rudraprayag ensures the provision of hot drinking water on the mule tracks in Yammunotri and Kedarnath and has also decided to provide nutritious feed for the welfare of mules and horses used during the Char Dham Yatra.

According to health ministry officials, reasonable accommodations will be made for doctors, medical specialists and oxygen tanks at the health camp and medical staff at medical colleges during the yatra season.