Lifeline Express: The Hospital Train of India

Lifeline Express: The Hospital Train of India
The Jeevan Rekha Express or more popularly known as the Lifeline Express is the first hospital train with modern medical facilities in the world. The train is a result of a collaboration between Impact India Foundation, Indian Railways, and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare India. The train was launched on 16th July 1991 with three coaches from Indian Railways and medical equipments from Impact India foundation. Since it has made impact in more than one million lives in rural parts of India.

In December 2016, Hiralal, a resident of Pipari Kala village in Madhya Pradesh, became the first patient to be operated for mouth cancer surgery on the train, showing the impact of the train. The train visits mostly rural parts of India with insufficient medical facilities and stays their for 21 to 25 days.

As of 2018, there are eight coaches in the train which houses an operation theatre, a pathology laboratory, a mammography unit, a gynaecology examination room, a dental unit, an X-ray unit, a pharmacy, and numerous patients ward with a well equiped pantry car and lodging for medical staff.

Services Provided by the Lifeline Express
1. Orthopaedic surgical intervention for correction of handicap and restoration of movement
2. Ophthalmological (eye related) procedures and interventions
3. ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) related surgical procedures and interventions
4. Plastic surgical correction of cleft lips and post burn contractures
5. Epilepsy
6. Oral and Breast Cancer
7. Immunisation and other preventive measures
8. Nutritional assessment and services
9. Medical Counselling and referral
10. Providing training to medical and aided health professionals

On 1st July 1997, there is a similar train service for ophthalmological services launched in China. There are four such trains working in China at the point of time. These trains are candidly known as "Eye Trains" in China.

You can find the current location of Lifeline Express at Impact India Foundation website (here). At the point of writing this post, the Lifeline Express is on the way to Guna, Madhya Pradesh. It will provide its service there from 27 February 2018 to 18 March 2018.

Image Credit: NDTV