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'Smile on Wheels' drives to Ranchi: Underprevileged communities to benefit from the mobile health care services


March 12, 2010, Ranchi: Smile Foundation, a national level development organisation launched its mobile hospital ‘‘Smile on Wheels’’ on 12th March, 2010 at Gymkhana Club in Ranchi, Jharkhand. ‘Smile on Wheels’ will operate in collaboration with Krishi Gram Vikas Kendra(KGVK), a non-governmental voluntary organisation engaged in promoting socio-economic development in the state of Jharkhand.

March 12, 2010, Ranchi: Smile Foundation, a national level development organisation launched its mobile hospital ‘‘Smile on Wheels’’ on 12th March, 2010 at Gymkhana Club in Ranchi, Jharkhand. ‘Smile on Wheels’ will operate in collaboration with Krishi Gram Vikas Kendra(KGVK), a non-governmental voluntary organisation engaged in promoting socio-economic development in the state of Jharkhand.

In its initial phase of operations in Ranchi, the mobile health care unit by Smile Foundation aims to target approximately one lakh (1 lakh) population in urban and rural slums. ‘Smile on Wheels’ comes to Ranchi after a successful and continued operation in six other states in India. ‘‘Smile on Wheels’’ is currently operational in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. The programme has successfully covered five lakh eighty two thousand six hundred and sixty seven (582,667) underprivileged people across the country and has benefited two lakh fifty thousand (250,000) needy people in 108 slums and villages.

Talking on the occasion, Mr. Harish Nandan Sahay, Director Operations at Smile Foundation said ‘Smile on Wheels’ is a national level mobile hospital programme of Smile Foundation which aims to provide primary health care services to reach the underprivileged population at rural areas and urban slums of Ranchi. There is a special effort to provide need based health care facilities to children and women.”

The survey and area research done by Smile Foundation suggests that there is a lack of basic healthcare services in the rural areas of Ranchi. The major communicable diseases prevalent in the target areas of Ranchi are Malaria, Respiratory tract diseases, Diarrhea. Leprosy, Tuberculosis, Skin infections, Worm infestations, Malnutrition and Anaemia. Inadequate ante natal and post natal care has also lead to high infant mortality rate in the city.

Explaining the areas of concerns further, Pabitra Banerjee, General Manager, Programme, Smile Foundation said ”In many of the rural and urban slums of Ranchi, a major chunk of the population is deprived of the basic health care services due to non accessibility and affordability of good and need based health care in and around their homes. ‘‘Smile on Wheels’’ is a concerted effort to walk to the doorsteps of the underprivileged people and provide them basic preventive and curative services.” Smile Foundationa and KGVK has initially identified areas like Jargapaka, Piska, Chandav, Sikitiri, Anandpur where there is an immediate need of quality health care services to improve the standard of life in these places.”

Analysing the need of mobile hospital services, Dr. Jayanta Mitra, Secretary, KGVK said

” This unique model of mobile hospital is meant for people living in the margins of the society. There is an effort to reach out to the economically and socially excluded population and provide accessible and affordable health care services at their doorsteps”.

Smile on Wheels’ is well equipped with all the basic facilities which are necessary for a mobile health care unit to be operational .The vehicle is equipped with all the modern health care related machines required in a hospital for diagnosis of diseases, testing and treatment. The mobile hospital will have a competent team of doctors and

para-medical staff to look into the specific health care needs of each patient.‘Smile on Wheels’ in Ranchi will provide OPD-curative services for common ailments, ante and postnatal services,

Smile Foundation has been awarded ‘NGO of the Year’ by GE Healthcare – Modern Medicare Excellence Award for innovative contribution that ‘Smile on Wheels’ has made towards healthcare services for the poor and needy.

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