The first tribal doctor from Wayanad Dr M K Appunni is all set to step down after 27 long years of dedicated service in healthcare sector on May 31. His commendable service has won him appreciation from his superiors, colleagues, patients and the public. His passion to help people, learn new methodologies, spend time and energy for the healthcare of patients, great intelligence, integrity, competence and social skills make him unique of his kind.
After completing MBBS from Kozhikode Medical College in 1987, he was posted at a hospital in Wayanad. Thereafter, he has worked in many hospitals, ESI, PHCs, mental health centres, medical college, in health service and is now retiring from service as Additional District Medical Officer of Deputy Director rank.
Born and brought up at Thrissileri, a remote village, he was not even in a position to dream to become a doctor. His parents were working as slaves of a landlord.
It was a situation where his sister was affected by cholera and the struggle he took to save her, which encouraged him to take up the profession of a doctor. He walked 14 kilometres by carrying her on his shoulders to reach a hospital though the forest. He reached the hospital only to hear that the doctor is on leave and had to move to some other hospital. Luckily he got her back after hours long fight.
As a tribute to his committed service, people of Poovattuparamba has honoured him with the Popular Doctor Award. “I am highly satisfied with my service. Retirement is not an end; still I can serve people. The one thing I can proudly say is my hands are not blackened of corruption. It was not money, but the satisfaction I got when I saw the satisfaction on the faces of my patients that moved me forward,” he said.
When asked him what was the most precious moment in his life, he said, “A couple of months ago, a bedridden patient after consulting me, got cured even without much treatment. From that incident, I realised that more than medicines, generous approach to a patient matters a lot. I consider that as a precious moment in my life.”
While retiring he has only one message to pass. “All government employees should consider themselves as the servants of public, not the boss. Be sincere and honest to your duty. It is the only thing you can give back in return for the gift of your life.”