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Lifeline Express hospital train mission to Kumta, India

The Lifeline Express is a fully-equipped hospital train which brings medical care to communities in need across India. Its latest mission was carried out at Kumta Railway Station. Kumta is a town in the Uttar Kannada District of Karnataka in India. The district has a large population, mostly living in rural and tribal regions with limited access to medical services.

Lifeline Express hospital train KumtaLifeline Express hospital train Kumta

The hospital train is a project in cooperation with Indian Railways and Impact India Foundation. The Emirates Airline Foundation has also been a long-time supporter of the Lifeline Express, reaching over 15,000 patients on missions carried out over the years in Sagara, Wadi Railway Station, Nandurbar and Bhatkal, just to name a few.

Lifeline Express hospital train Kumta

The mission in Kumta was advertised ahead of the train’s arrival, offering free-of-cost medical treatment to patients in need. For the local population, many living on an income less than INR130 a day, the various types of specialist health care services conducted on the Lifeline Express are ordinarily unaffordable and require long distance travel.

Lifeline Express hospital train Kumta

Specialist treatment offered to patients on the Lifeline Express include family health, eye care, ear care, cancer screenings, general surgery, orthopaedic surgery, stroke treatment, epilepsy treatment, plastic surgery for cleft lip and dentistry.

Lifeline Express hospital train KumtaLifeline Express hospital train Kumta

Over the course of the 19 days of the Kumta mission, more than 7,000 patients were registered and over 500 surgeries took place. More than 90 volunteer doctors, surgeons, nurses, anaesthesiologists, dentists and other medical professionals worked together to treat each patient throughout the successful programme.

Here are just a few stories of patients who benefited from the mission:

Rajesh, age 15

Lifeline Express hospital train Kumta

Since he was 4 years old Rajesh could not stand without support, and also had a delay in his speech. A local doctor diagnosed him with cerebral palsy, but the surgical treatments recommended for Rajesh were more than his family could afford. Rajesh’s family came to know of the Lifeline Express and its specialist doctors coming. He underwent successful surgery for bilateral hamstring and adductor release under general anaesthesia, and the measurements for his splints were taken which he will wear after plaster removal to maintain the surgical correction. Rajesh’s mother thanked all, saying “the Lifeline Express coming to Kumta has given us a new chance. I am so incredibly thankful for what the Lifeline Express has done for my son. We thank the doctors for giving us hope.”

Manjula, age 31

Lifeline Express hospital train Kumta

Manjula lives with her husband and two children. Ever since she was a child she had pain in her left ear. When she attended a check-up in a hospital in town, she was told they lacked an ENT surgeon, and recommended that she travel to a larger city for treatment. However, the costs of the travel and the treatment were far beyond what Manjula could afford. Eventually, she suffered some hearing loss as a result of not having had the proper treatment. She came to the Lifeline Express to see if they could help. She was referred to the ear surgeon where she underwent a successful tympanoplasty with ossiculoplasty. Expressing her gratitude and joy, Manjula said “I am so happy that I will no longer suffer, and that I will soon be able to hear much better as well.”

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