New Delhi : As the popular saying goes, “Health is Wealth”, Smile planned to run a mobile hospital called “SMILE ON WHEELS” in Ashok Nagar, Madhya Pradesh to cater to the health needs of the rural underprivileged population, which have been ignored and neglected for long. The primary health objective was to ensure equal access of health services to all the community members irrespective of location and socio-economic standards of living. The focus group is the most vulnerable sections of the community i.e. women and children.
After its one year of operation, Smile on Wheels has catered its services to 20 villages of Chanderi Block in the district and it is showing many encouraging results. Women now form 56% of the total beneficiaries who came forward and received the services at their doorsteps. When women, specifically mothers are healthy, children grow up healthy, attend school and the whole family attains well-being, owing to their crucial roles and responsibilities in a rural set-up.
Apart from sanitation and hygiene issues, cases of severe malnutrition among children were observed. With the help of Smile on Wheel’s well trained doctors, special interventions on model hygiene practices and remedies for child malnutrition were launched in 11 select villages six months ago, which would be replicated in all the villages gradually.
Involving men and making them responsible to ensure that young mothers and children visit the mobile hospital are showing results. Rarely any of the households has toilets. However, awareness on good practice of hygiene and sanitation has reflected on the improved health profiles of the villagers, particularly children.
About Smile on Wheels
Smile on Wheels is a national level mobile hospital programme taking curative, preventive and promotive healthcare to the doorsteps of urban poor and underserved villagers benefitting 231,000 lives directly in a year through 19 projects in 265 remote villages and urban slums across India.