Neurology on wheels: This AP doctor is treating patients in
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Dr Bindu Menon recalls that it has been a long time that she has taken a vacation from her job. A doctor at a hospital in Nellore by the weekdays, on Sunday she is a traveller who visits nearby villages in a mini-bus. No, Dr Bindu doesn’t go on a leisure trip but rather she is greeted with warm smiles from villagers, awaiting the sight of her bus for their medical check-ups. Armed with assistants from the Dr Bindu Menon foundation, the doctor spends almost a day in the village, treating patients with epilepsy, strokes and other neurology-related diseases. The check-ups are free and the doctor hasn’t had a break in this routine in the past four years.

Born and brought up in Bhopal, for Dr Bindu, neurology always seemed as fascinating as mathematics. “I was always amazed at the way brain functioned like a CPU for our body. The way we talk, laugh or cry - each action is intricately connected to the way our brain functions. Back in my day, when women mostly chose gynaecology as their subject, my heart was in studying neurology,” the 49-year-old neurologist tells TNM.

In a career spanning over two decades, Dr Bindu worked as a neurologist in a couple of hospitals in Andhra while also starting the Neurology Department at the Tirupati medical college in 2008. A well-known figure in her field, Dr Bindu was a regular at schools and colleges in the state, holding awareness classes on brain-related diseases.

“My major area of focus was on patients suffering from epilepsy and strokes. While the rich sought immediate treatment, people belonging to weaker economic sections either were not aware of the severity of the disease or there was a gap in availing the right kind of treatment. For the same reason, I started the Dr Bindu Menon foundation 2013, with the aim of providing free medical treatment and check-ups to people suffering from epilepsy and strokes,” the doctor recalls.

Providing treatment to the poorest of poor, the foundation gives free medical treatment to patients for up to a month. “We analyse how the patient is responding to medicines and over time if we feel that the treatment needs to continue for a longer duration, we take them into the foundation and treat them for free until the patient is cured. For others, we prescribe medicines and insist on regular follow-ups,” the doctor explains.

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