Reaching out to Hyderabad’s urban poor with healthcare services

As per the latest census data, one in three people in Hyderabad is a slum dweller. It speaks of an astounding 264% increase in slum population in and around the metropolitan area. In total, there are 5.07 lakh slum households with 22.7 lakh dwellers.

The burgeoning urban poor population in Hyderabad struggle for basic services like housing, water and sanitation. The increase in the number of urban poor has increased the pressure in the civic authorities in responding to their health needs. Despite the presence of a vast public health network in the city, catering to patients in such big numbers is a daunting task.

With poor living conditions, no backup savings, food stocks, or social support system, the vulnerability of the slum dwellers to diseases and deaths increases multiple folds. The impacts of lack of basic amenities like sanitation, garbage disposal, and potable water on health on the one hand, and accessibility and quality issues of health facilities on the other, make the urban poor in Hyderabad susceptible to health shocks.

INTERVENTION

In order to take care of the healthcare needs of the underprivileged population, Smile Foundation intervened and launched a Smile on Wheels project in Hyderabad. The project being implemented was initiated in 2009 in partnership with Operation Blessing India.

After conducting a proper need analysis in and around Hyderabad, eight major areas were identified, wherein the fully equipped Smile on Wheels began its operation. The areas are Moti Nagar, Gajula Ramaram Gabbilalpet, Musharam Bagh, Malakpet, Rasoolpura, Borrabanda and Erragadda. With a team of doctors, nurses and other medical staff along with all possible required medicines from distinguished laboratories, the Smile on Wheels caters to a target population of over 57,000 every year in the aforementioned regions.

Right at the doorsteps, the Smile on Wheels provides all-inclusive healthcare services that include promotive, preventive and curative services. To complement the Smile on Wheels in reaching out to more patients, regular health camps are organized in all the slums that the unit covers. With a special focus on the health of women and children, the Smile on Wheels also makes the slum dwellers aware about preventive measures against diseases and educates them in health and hygiene.

Project Highlights

  • Along with special health camps being regularly conducted, this Smile on Wheels project reaches out to a population of 57,000 people every year.

  • This Smile on Wheels covers locations in and around Hyderabad. Some of the major areas that the Smile on Wheels travels to are Moti Nagar, Gajula Ramaram Gabbilalpet, Musharam Bagh, Malakpet, Rasoolpura, Borrabanda and Erragadda.

  • The total number of slums reached out to across the eight locations is 24. Special focus is given to women and children.

  • In all the slums that the project covers, multi-disciplinary health camps are conducted. These camps offer gynaecological, ophthalmology as well as paediatric care services.

  • Going forward, this Smile on Wheels aims at developing in all the people living in these slum areas the importance of sound health and inculcate in them a health seeking behaviour.

IMPACT

IN 2014 , A TOTAL OF 12,000 PEOPLE BENEFITED FROM THE INITIATIVE

4500 STUDENTS RECEIVED BENEFIT FROM SCHOOLHEALTH PROGRAMS

OVER100 ICE ACTIVITIES WERE CONDUCTED LAST YEAR, BENEFITING MORE THAN 6500 PEOPLE

IN THE FIRST MONTH OF THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE STATIC CLINIC PROGRAM A TOTAL265 PEOPLE BENEFITED OF WHICH 57% BENEFICIARIESWERE WOMAN