Medics make a difference
PUBLISHED: 11:56 07 February 2008 | UPDATED: 15:39 11 May 2010
A TEAM led by a Royston GP has returned from a mission to help poverty stricken villagers in north-west India. Dr Peter Gough is back at his surgeries in Barley and Royston after a successful trip. Dr Gough, who held medical and dental surgeries in Kha
A TEAM led by a Royston GP has returned from a mission to help poverty stricken villagers in north-west India.
Dr Peter Gough is back at his surgeries in Barley and Royston after a "successful" trip.
Dr Gough, who held medical and dental surgeries in Khandel and Sinodia covering 25 villages which are aided by Khandel-light, the charity he set up in 2000, said: "We went there not knowing whether the people would want our services.
"In the end we could have gone on forever.
"We had on-going queues for both medical and dental camps."
His eldest son, Captain Will Gough, and fellow Army dentist Capt Seb Burn saw 120 patients in the open air.
They extracted 20 teeth and after seeing that there was a problem with fluorosis - too much fluoride in the water, creating weak teeth - bought a box of toothbrushes and toothpaste and taught the local health workers how to brush teeth correctly.
Dr Gough, along with his other son James, a final year medical student at Cardiff University, saw a further 90 patients.
"To provide the health camps with two of my sons was mind-blowing, a tremendous experience and a privilege," said Dr Gough.
The four-man team took antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and painkillers with them, but had to visit the local pharmacy for more.
Dr Gough said: "Drugs are very expensive.
"One old lady was receiving treatment for a condition. She spent all her money on medication - so much money that she was not eating."
The most difficult problem the team encountered was the language barrier, and on its next visit plan to take a Hindi-speaking dental nurse and a physiotherapist.
Dr Gough now wants to establish a medical centre in Khandel where minor dentistry can be carried out, and records and drugs kept.
Although the project would need a significant donation, it would enable British and Indian doctors and dentists to visit and provide primary care and continuity for the communities, he said.