Smile on Wheels: National Mobile Hospital Programme Launched
Programme: Smile on Wheels
Event: National Launch
Place: Delhi Secretariat, New Delhi, India
Chief Guest: Mrs. Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister, Govt. of National Capital Territory of Delhi
Date: June 19, 2006
State Covered (Phase-I): Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, and Chhattisgarh
SMILE FOUNDATION launched 'SMILE ON WHEELS', its national level multi-centric mobile hospital programme in New Delhi on June 19, 2006. Mrs. Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister of Govt. of NCT of Delhi inaugurated the programme and handed over the keys to various partner organizations of Smile Foundation. She also flagged off the mobile vans at Delhi Secretariat.
First Phase – Reach & Coverage
Five projects were flagged off in the first phase of Smile on Wheels with projected health coverage for 7.5 lakhs people in 249 identified villages across five Indian states. The states are Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh and Maharasthra Five partner NGOs received the mobile hospitals, one each from the states.
The five organisations are Sevadham Trust (Pune, Maharashtra), Berojgar Mahila Sewa Samiti (Bhilai, Chhattisgarh), Orissa Institute of Medical Research and Health Services (Cuttack, Orissa), Ambuja Cement Foundation (Roorkee, Uttaranchal), and Suraj Hospital (Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh). These NGOs will access deserving villages which are cut off from regular health services. Each mobile healthcare unit will cover the vicinity of 20-50 kms from its centre and will visit 2-3 villages a day on a regular basis.
Chief Guest Speak
The Chief Guest, Mrs. Sheila Dikshit said, "This is a very ambitious and wonderful project which is going to benefit children and women in the outreach areas. I would congratulate Smile Foundation for that." She added, "Consistent follow-up and concentration in a particular are necessary in health programmes which would hopefully make this programme a success."
Smile Foundation launched the programme as part of its endeavour to introduce healthcare awareness and contemporary health care services seeking behaviour among the rural masses and the underprivileged.
The Chief Guest, Mrs. Sheila Dikshit, inaugurated the "Smile on Wheels" and handed over the keys of five full fledged equipped healthcare vans to five NGOs, which was followed by flagging off ceremony.
Smile on Wheels a mega project launched by Smile Foundation - aims to take comprehensive health care services (preventive, promotive and curative) to rural remote villages and will reach out to the most underprivileged but needy people across the country. The programme intends to bring medical expertise from nearby urban centres/ cities to the rural areas and urban slums.
The services provided are OPD, Ante-natal/post-natal services, identification of difficult pregnancy and referral for institutional care, Immunization- Mother & children, Minor surgery, BP examination, X-ray, ECG, First Aid, Distribution of Iron Folic tablets, Vit-A Prophylaxis, Treatment of mal-nutrient cases, etc.
Children and Women's health is one of Smile's prime concerns. A referral service network for them also needs to be developed. Education and counselling on Health and hygiene, Family planning promotion with emphasis on condom usage for safe sex, spacing methods would also be imparted. The programme would also ensure organising regular health camps, including minor surgical interventions.
Each Smile on Wheels hospital will work in liaison with the local government and private healthcare facilities. Thus, the programme will act as a complementary and supplementary initiative in each intervention area.
Under this programme, Smile Foundation aims to operate a fleet of 30 fully equipped mobile medical vans in collaboration with NGOs and local administration in the next two years, reaching out to over 35-40 lakh beneficiaries.