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Camp 2012
Posted on 2012-03-23

The Camp will go from Friday 23 March to Sunday 25 March 2012.

The camp is run as a joint venture between 2 Indian charities (Baba Braham Dass Charitable Trust and Sant Sarwan Dass Charitable Trust) and Slumdoctor Poject. 

New patients will be seen between the dates. Simple treatments are administered immediately. Complex investigation and treatment (for example surgery) is done after the 3 day period. Patients who need medical follow up, or surgical treatment, are followed up at Sant Sarwan Dass Charitable Hospital. Facilities for xray, ultrasound, CT etc are available.


We intend to have the following specialities represented:

Diabetes
General Medicine
Rheumatology
Gynaecology
General Surgery
Audiology
Eye Surgery
Radiology
Dermatology
Paediatrics 

Skills required:

Doctors are required in all specialities, especially General Practice. 
Nurses
Pharmacist
Radiologist/advance practitioner- for x ray and USS
Opticians
Translators from English to Panjabi and visa versa


General Information:
The medical “camp” will be in Phillaur. This is a small town based within the district of Jalandhar, the northern eastern sector of the Punjab. The language spoken in this area is Panjabi. Being able to speak Panjabi is an advantage if you are thinking of volunteering, but not a requirement as we will have translators.

Patients / Conditions / Charity
We advertise for patients from certain specialities depending on the specialist skill mix. It is difficult to predict how many patients will attend. Generally, we would aim to see all the patients who attend. Some people have walked for miles and planned for weeks to attend the camp. We therfore would aim not to turn anyone away. The working hours can therefore somtimes be long and unpredictable. Volunteers need to be aware of this, and be willing to rise to this challenge. 

Conflicts of Interest
Individuals are expected to volunteer to serve the population of the camp that we are looking after in the spirit of charity. Occasionally there may be a conflict of interest, arising from their emloyment, or sponsorship or otherwise. Volunteers are required to declare that on application, via a written undertaking. Whilst there are many companies who donate money, medicines, lenses for implant etc. especially in India, 

Often before going to camp, or on return, press and media are interested in the camp. This is encouraged, especially as it raises awareness of the charity and raises its profile. However, volunteers must undertake to respect the spirit of charity. Whilst publicity is welcome, volunteers should not link the name of the charity with their employers or any other organisation. Slumdoctor Project does not undertake to promote any companies or their products in any way. Should their be any issue of this nature, written permission should be sought from the Trustees. It should be taken as given, that without writen permission, such an agreement has not been entered into. 

Flights
The nearest airport is in Amritsar. Flights can be booked direct to Amritsar, or to Dehli. The only direct flight to Amritsar at the time of writing was from Heathrow. A flight from Birmingham to Amritsar is also available but this is not direct. Please check with a specialist travel agent (see below). 

A journey by car of approximately two and a half hours is then taken from Amritsar to Phillaur. 

The main international airport is in Delhi. The journey from Dehli by car is approximately eight hours. Alternatives to going by car include taking a train and going by air.

The Shatabdi Express train is a good choice. More information can be found on the link below:

http://indiarailinfo.com/train/1538

A booking can be made using the link below:

https://www.irctc.co.in/

Internal flights are available. Kingfisher airlines is one flight. Please enquire with a travel agent about availability.

Cost of Travel
The cost of an airline ticket from the UK varies but is in the order of £500 return for an economy flight. This may be purchased directly from travel agents (a few are outlined below, but feel free to book with others if you so wish). We are under negotiation for flight cost reductions by block booking; please ask your contact about this.

Time difference
Please note that India is approximately five hours forward in time (varies between summer and winter). 


Travel Agents: 

Southall Travels
http://www.southalltravel.co.uk/ 
There are a number of travel companies who specialise in travel to India. This is one of them. The disadvantage with this company is that at the time of writing, they do not provide flights to amritsar. This company can arrange a visa.
SOUTHALL TRAVEL LIMITED 
Palmoak House, 19 South Road
Southall, Middlesex, UB1 1SU, England 
Ph: +44 0844 855 8001
Fax: +44 020 8813 8418 
email@southalltravel.co.uk

http://www.skyscanner.net/
This site provides cost comparisons for cheap flights. A direct flight to Amritsar can only be gained from Heathrow (at the time of writing this document); this is approximately a nine hour flight. Alternatively indirect flights maybe taken via Dubai, Delhi, Tashkent and Iran. 

Visa:
You will require a visa to enter India and must allow at least eight weeks to obtain the visa if you have a UK passport; the timings may vary for other nationalities. If you are serious about going, please do not delay in applying for a visa.

The following websites will give you further guidance. 

http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/en/howtoapply/vafs
http://hcilondon.in/visa.php

The link below will take you direct to the site for on line visa submission:

http://in.vfsglobal.co.uk/mandatory.html

The on line application is a good option. The visa is filed electronically. Supporting documents including passport need to be submitted to the embassy. The requirement for a 2 inch by 2 inch photo seems to be sacred. If a photo that is not to their standard is sent, the application is not infrequently returned. Some photo shops such as prontaprint, jessops, Janet Greens will have a specific "india visa protocol". You will need a reference in India, please email slumdoctor@hotmail.co.uk for this. 

Registering with the Indian Medical council:
Doctors wanting to do voluntary work need to register with the Indian medical council. The following link is to their site:

http://online.mciindia.org/online/

The application needs to be electronically filed 2 month before hand. A 5000 rupee draft needs to be drawn up from an Indian bank and its details need to be submitted. Attested copies of degree and GMC certificates need to be presented. By the time this stage is reached, the slumdoctor team should have been contacted for help!

Accommodation:
Hotel accommodation varies in standards and quality and costs. There are current negotiations taking place for block booking reductions. We usually book an on suite room in a 5 star hotel at a cost of £50-70 (depending on the exchange rate) per night for the group.

Currency
The currency is Rupee. These can not usually be obtained outside of India. 

Medical information:
Check with your GP re vaccinations for Rabies, Cholera, Typhoid, Hepatitis & obtain an anti malarial. There is a cost for some of these vaccinations. Vaccinations usually need to be administered 4 weeks before travel.

Bottled water only should be consumed throughout the trip.

Climate:
March is the pre summer season and the weather during the day is usually warm with temperatures of up to 28 degrees Celsius. There may be intermittent downpours of rain. Evenings may be humid.

Clothing:
Light clothing or uniform is worn during the day with flat shoes. We request you have an awareness of the cultural sensitivities to dress code. 

How to Volunteer:

Individuals that would like to help are requested to come forward with an expression of interest outlining their area of expertise. If you are interested in volunteering, then please download an application from the link in below by clicking on the link. A box will open. In the bottom right hand corner will be a green box labelled "download". Please click on that. Select a PDF file for download. Select "download now". The file should be downloaded to a location on your computer that you can specify. Some people have struggled with this. If you are having difficulty, email slumdoctor@hotmail.co.uk. We will send you a form by return.

http://www.slumdoctor.co.uk/SlumDoctorProject_Volunteers_applicationform_March%202012.zip

Please email your completed application form, along with a passport type photograph and your CV to :

slumdoctor@hotmail.co.uk. 

The slumdoctor project team will process your application and get back to you within 14 days.

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