Underprivileged communities to benefit from the mobile health care services at their doorsteps
March 18, 2010, New Delhi: Smile Foundation, a national level development organisation launched its second mobile hospital ‘Smile on Wheels’ for Delhi-NCR on 18th March, 2010 in New Delhi .‘Smile on Wheels’ will operate in collaboration with AROH Foundation a non-government voluntary organisation engaged in developing sustainable programmes to address various social causes.
The STeP programme is primarily designed to offer job oriented skills to youth from the less privileged sections of the society living in urban slums and peripheral rural areas. Under the program, training is imparted to these youth in basic computers and retail sales management skills along with proficiency in spoken and written English.
Dr. Sanjeev Bagai, C.E.O Batra Hospital & Medical Research Centre was present at the flag off ceremony. Addressing the gathering Dr Sanjeev Bagai said “In India 80% of the healthcare is private driven, having a neonatal mortality rate of 70 and a mortality rate of 40, 40% of children under 5 years of age are malnourished, and just 1/2 the children pan India receive the complete recommended immunization. We have more than 1 million deaths in India annually, because of diahorrea and respiratory infections, with a high percentage of anaemia in pregnant mothers and new born babies and nearly1 million deaths as still births, we have miles to cover. In such a scenario, the initiative of ‘Smile on Wheels’ by Smile Foundation services to all sections of the society.”
The second mobile health care unit aims to target approximately one lac fifty thousand (1.5 lac) underprivileged population in urban and rural slums in East Delhi and Noida. The first mobile health van launched in year 2008 is currently operational in the area of South Delhi, Gurgaon & Faridabad and has been able to provide healthcare facilities to one lac seventy five thousand underprivileged population. ’Smile on Wheels’ is also operational in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand. The initiative of mobile health care services from Smile Foundation has successfully covered six lakh thirty six thousand six hundred and sixty seven (636,667) underprivileged people across the country in one hundred and fourteen (114) slums and villages.
Talking on the role of public private partnerships to cater to the needs of the society, Harish Nandan Sahay, Director Operations, Smile Foundation said, “The concept of public private partnership has really helped in facilitating the health care services to the door steps of the underprivileged communities. With the support of our partners, our mission of making the health care facilities accessible and affordable for the target communities across the country will be a success. With more corporate taking part in these initiatives, we can look forward to better health seeking behaviour in the country.”
Steel Authority of India (SAIL) and Gulf For Good, based in Dubai have come forward to support the second mobile health van for Delhi NCR. “SAIL believes in making a meaningful difference in people’s lives’, said Abhijit Mukherjee, GM(CSR) at SAIL. Smile Foundation aims to launch 25 more ‘Smile on Wheels’ by 201-12.
Explaining about the mobile hospital services, Dr. Neelam Gupta , President AROH Foundation Said, ”Smile on Wheels, would bring affordable, integrated and clinically advanced, quality healthcare services within the reach of poor and marginalized people in the urban slums and rural villages of Delhi & Noida.” The health van would enable prevention, diagnosis as well as treatment services and the impact of this programme will be visible in the lives of more than 10 lac people who would be touched through this programme, she further added.
The survey and area research done by Smile Foundation suggests that there is a lack of basic healthcare services in the target areas. A survey conducted in Gautum Buddha Nagar district showed that majority of the population is suffering from skin diseases, stomach ailments, throat cancer, etc. The root cause for all such ailments seems to be highly polluted and toxic industrial affluent prevalent in the locality. ‘Smile on Wheels’ plans to take measures for treating such diseases apart from day to day healthcare needs of the population. Dallopura ,Kalyanpuri, Khicharipur ,Sector -8 Masjid Area, Morma and Jhundpur have been identified as localities where there is an immediate need for quality health care services to improve the standard of life.‘Smile on Wheels’, 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 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.