A town of historical significance, Chanderi is a part of Ashok Nagar district in Madhya Pradesh. The slum areas of the town face a dismal health condition due to lack of accessibility to health care facilities. Scarcity of infrastructure and professional medical help facilities are common problems that are prevalent in these slums. Other factors like costly health check-up, loss of income and lack of proper follow up have aggravated the health scenario in the slums.

In order to get a detailed picture of the condition, Smile Foundation conducted a Baseline cum Need Assessment Study on healthcare in 20 villages of Chanderi Block of Ashok Nagar district. Carried out in March 2013, the survey helped to understand the current health situation (Physical infrastructure, health delivery system, disease pattern and know-how of the health care practices). The study team also met different stakeholder’s e.g. men, women, children, Doctors, ANM, AWW, ASHA, PHC staff, Pradhan and other PRI members of different villages.


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Intervention

Once the survey was done, Smile Foundation joined hands with Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (RECL) and initiated “SMILE ON WHEELS” in Chanderi town of Ashok Nagar, MP to cater to the health needs of the rural underprivileged population.

Making health care facilities accessible and affordable to the rural populace is the primary focus of the project. The plan was to launch Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) and also develop support from the various health partners and functionaries in the community. Women and children being the most vulnerable sections of the communities are given special attention under the project. A total of 55,500 people (18,500 per year) were identified as direct beneficiaries.

As major part of the slum population was living in poverty, it could not afford primary education, which further lead to unawareness of health and hygiene related issues. Thus to educate the village population, special awareness programmes were designed and implemented as a part of the project.

Project Highlights

  • Mobile Health Clinic launched in the villages to make health services accessible to the inhabitants.

  • Daily OPDs conducted that included free health check ups and pathological tests to diagnose the ailments and then provide medicines in the community.

  • Awareness programs were conducted in 15 villages of Chanderi, Ashok Nagar through which 2762 beneficiaries were reached.

  • To make learning a fun process for children, innovative awareness programs were conducted.

  • Lectures regarding ANC & PNC care are provided to the pregnant & lactating women in these villages.

  • Mass mobilization programmes included screening of health and hygiene related short films in 19 villages that were attended by 480 inhabitants.

  • Severely Acute Malnourished (SAM) children referred to Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre, Chanderi through coordination with Community stakeholders. Also, counselling of parents of malnourished children was done.

  • Liasoning with community stakeholders like Anganwadi works, ASHA and ANMs in order to build a good rapport with the community members.

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