Amidst the intertwined metro networks, bustling streets and soaring buildings of New Delhi lies a contrasting world where nearly 15% of its population live in inhuman conditions. Comprising the 2nd largest slum population of India, these 1.8 million people mostly include unskilled and semi-skilled labour who can barely afford basic necessities of life. Illiteracy, irregular employment and poor environmental conditions together make living conditions grim for these slum dwellers.
Despite Delhi’s well-developed health infrastructure, its slum population lacks access to medical facilities that poses a threat to their health and even life. Absence of civic amenities like drinking water, sanitation and garbage disposal makes them more susceptible to preventable and vector borne diseases like malaria, dengue and tuberculosis. Lack of health-seeking behaviour among the slum population has further led to low nutritional status of its women and children, degrading maternal health and an increase in neonatal, infant and child mortality rates.
For providing primary healthcare services to the disadvantaged population of the capital, Smile Foundation has partnered with Airbus Group. With their support, Smile Foundation is providing a wide range of preventive, promotive and curative health services across 20 slums of North Delhi under the Smile on Wheels mobile hospital programme. Jahangirpuri, Lal Bagh, JJ Colony, Outram Lane, Prembadi, Udham Singh Park and Shaheed Sukhdev Nagar are some of the targeted areas under this project.
Under this intervention, Smile Foundation delivers healthcare services at the doorstep of slum dwellers through a Medical Mobile Unit. A team of seven members including a qualified doctor, nurse, pharmacist, lab technician, community mobilizer, project coordinator and driver is present on the mobile hospital to provide free-of-cost medical consultation and diagnosis, medicines and lab testing facilities to the beneficiaries. Moreover, the team conducts several IEC activities like street plays and community meetings to sensitize people on health-related issues like nutritional value, general hygiene and drug addiction. Women-related issues, such as pregnancy diet, care of newborn, breastfeeding, immunization and family planning are also addressed by the mobile hospital team to ensure good health of pregnant and lactating mothers and newborns.
At least 1500 beneficiaries were reached directly every month through general health check-ups and pathological tests during regular OPDs in 20 slums of North Delhi.
Lab tests conducted for RBS, HB, Malaria, UPT, Typhoid, HbsAg and Blood Pressure for proper diagnosis of the patients.
Community meetings conducted to spread awareness on general health practices, good nutritional value and hygiene.
Street plays conducted to sensitize the people, particularly adolescents, on the ill-effects of drug addiction.
Referral services provided to the patients who needed treatment to bridge the gap between the community and the government.
Special awareness sessions conducted on delivery, post-natal care, immunization and family planning to reach out to the women and newborns, which included more than 50% beneficiaries.
322 OPD session were conducted so far.
66 % of the targeted beneficiaries are women.
14595 beneficiaries were provided curative services.
1226 pathological tests were conducted so far.