Published: 05th September 2019
This Nellore doctor is hitting the road to spread awareness about strokes, epilepsy and more
She was born in Bhopal and studied in London. She had an uncle in Tirupati and that's how her Andhra Pradesh journey began
Who said that women can only be gynaecologists? - Dr Bindu Menon thought to herself back in the day when she was pursuing her MBBS. Such was the norm that women doctors opt for fields like Gynaecology but it turns out that Menon would have none of that. The subject of Neurology had claimed her heart and that is what she intended to pursue. "Neurology seemed to me as mysterious as Math. We need to comprehend every action of the patient — how they talk, laugh and so on," explains the Nellore-based doctor while talking about why she considered Neurology her calling, even back then. Couple this with her love for interacting with patients and working with them to get to the very root of their problem and one understands why she continues to dedicate her life to this particular field of medicine.
She used to teach at Sri Venkateswara College, Tirupati and at Narayana Medical College and Hospital, Nellore, and used to see 150 patients per day
A former lecturer and a fairly new entrant into the corporate world, Dr Menon joined Apollo Speciality Hospitals as a HOD and Professor in 2014, and she started Dr Bindu Menon Foundation in 2013. "This was to bridge the gap between people who know they are suffering from an ailment but do not seek medical intervention and the treatment itself," explains the 49-year-old. Her targets were educational institutions, corporates and organisations. They have covered more than 116 colleges and schools as of now including Sri Siddhartha Junior College, Saastra College Of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Ratnam Institute of Pharmacy and many more. But her current labour of love, Neurology on Wheels, has all her attention now. With her minibus equipped with basic equipment, she travels to internal villages of Andhra Pradesh, like Gollakandukur and Kommi, and educates people about epilepsy and strokes, screens them and offers medication of up to one month for free.
Hot wheels: The minibus Dr Menon is using for her cause | (Pic: Dr Bindu Menon Foundation)
"Not only do heart-warming smiles greet us in every village, we noticed that 80 per cent of the crowd that avails the services of the camp are women. This shows how, unlike men, women don't travel much and as a result, don't have the opportunity to take tests. This initiative is proving to be very beneficial," says Dr Menon who has visited 22 villages till date. While a crowd of 80 to 100, or sometimes the whole village, gathers to listen to the 15-20 minute talk that Dr Menon personally delivers, basic tests like blood pressure and sugar precede a consultation with the good doctor herself. Those who are diagnosed with any ailments are not only given free medication for a month, they are also encouraged to visit their nearest doctor. "In Agraharam, we have even initiated a follow-up with patients and I want to do that with other villages as well," she says sounding hopeful. And now out with an app for epilepsy called Epilepsy Help, and a helpline in place (1800 102 0237), Dr Menon is forging forward.
Some scenes from the camps:
For more, check out drbindumenon.com