KMC brings together medical professionals for Wilderness Medicine Conference
Manipal, March 11, 2023: The Centre for Wilderness Medicine and Department of Emergency Medicine at Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, organized the first-ever Wilderness Medicine Conference at Dr. TMA Pai Hall in Manipal.
Dr. Sharath Kumar Rao, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) MAHE, Manipal was the chief guest of the program who praised the efforts of the organizers and emphasized the importance of Wilderness Medicine, particularly in Manipal, which is surrounded by the sea on one side and the Western Ghats on the other.
He expressed his hope for the Centre for Wilderness Medicine to grow and cater to the needs of the region, especially in austere environments where medical aid is difficult to provide.
The keynote speaker for the conference was Padma Shri awardee, Dr. Himmatrao Saluba Bawaskar, a renowned physician from Maharashtra known for his practice-changing work on scorpion stings.
Dr. Bawaskar spoke briefly about his wilderness experiences and emphasized the importance of these topics for undergraduates, postgraduates, and doctors working in primary healthcare settings.
Other notable guests included Dr. Padmaraj Hegde, Dean of Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, Dr. Anand Venugopal, COO of Teaching Hospitals, MAHE, Manipal, Dr. Avinash Shetty, Medical Superintendent of Kasturba Hospital, Manipal, Dr. Karunakar Kotegar, Director of International Affairs, Dr. Krishnanandha Prabhu, Associate Dean of KMC Manipal, Dr. Pramodini Bawaskar, and Cdr. Vishwanath Rajan from Scuba Evolution Goa.
On the first day, experts conducted sessions on various topics like lightning strikes, hymenopteran envenomations, animal attacks, scorpion stings, cave diving, and snake bites. The second day featured a wilderness medicine workshop that included a practical demo of setting up a medical kit for an expedition and wilderness survival equipment. Participants were taken to the nearby jungle for a wilderness medicine simulation challenge.
Dr. Jayaraj Mymbilly Balakrishnan, Professor and Head, Department of Emergency Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal welcomed the gathering. Dr.Freston, Assistant Professor from the department gave a brief overview of the center’s activities including health & conservation, research, and training programs like wilderness life support, dive medicine, and search & Rescue training. Dr. Vimal Krishnan S, Associate Professor from the department proposed the vote of thanks.
The conference and workshop were well received by over 200 delegates for the conference and 60-plus participants for the workshop.