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The "Red Tent" Project

Starting 2002 OOO LUKOIL-Komi, authorities of the Nenets autonomous district and Zapolyarny District, Yasavey Civic Movement and Total Exploration and Develpment Russia have been carrying out a unique joint medical and social project titled “The Red Tent”.

The project’s history dates back to the 1930s. The first argish (a reindeer hauled string of sledges) of the Red Tent project set off to the tundra back in 1929, when the Nenets Okrug was created.

Due to the specific local conditions and the nomadic lifestyle, the reindeer herders were basically cut off from the conventional healthcare system. The medical assistant they can get is in no way equivalent to the help usually provided in the district in-patient hospitals and municipal specialized clinics. It is also extremely rare that they undergo health check-ups. Over the project lifetime over 2.5 thousand residents in the Okrug’s remote locations received qualified medical assistance.

The project currently makes it possible to identify deceases at early stages. “The Red Tent” provides affordable medical assistance (both examinations and treatment) to the local nomads in the remote areas of the Subarctic. Besides, as part of the project reindeer herder crews are supplied with the necessary medical supplies. Female tent rendering personnel are trained to provide first aid.

Each crew is comprised of 18 specialists, including a pediatrician, a general practitioner, a surgeon, a neurologist, an ophthalmologist, an endocrinologist, an otolaryngologist, a dentist, an ultrasonographer and nurses. They set out on each field trip fully equipped with medical gear and medications.

Many times the “Red Tent” project was distinguished by experts as a success story of cooperation between the oil industry and public authorities in addressing the problem of providing medical aid to nomadic reindeer herders and residents of the region’s remote settlements. The project was highly praised by Mr. Leonid Mikhailovich Roshal, a renowned scholar and Director of the Emergency Paediatric and Traumatic Surgery Institute. According to the Doctor of Medicine, Head of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences (in the city of Tyumen) Mr. Sergey Mataev, the data gathered in the course of the project is of undoubted scientific value, and the lessons learned from the productive cooperation of the oil industry personnel with medics deserve to be disseminated to other regions.