women patients at the centre
A couple of months before, we opened a project in GlobalGiving where we called for funds from anyone to help set up rural health care centres. It is indeed overwhelming for us that we have received substantial amount of money thus helping us to open a new healthcare centre for the rural underprivileged people. Today we have opened a health care centre in Sundia, in South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal India.
Four departments namely General Medicine, Optometry, Dentistry and Homoeopathy have been set up in this centre. At the cost of INR 60, patients in this centre are provided with diagnosis and free medicine for seven days. Food and lodging facilities are being provided to the doctors so that they can attend to more patients. In this respect, the centres are open from 9.30 am to 5 pm everyday except on Wednesdays when the centre is open till 1 pm and thurdays are holidays for the centre staff. On the very first day of opening the centres, 57 patients were treated which indicated the success of opening the centres. In the last two months, more than 1200 patients have been treated in our centres.
But to make the centre completely operational, funds are still required as based on the project in GlobalGiving the entire fund has not been raised. Unlike our other centres that run in the rural areas, this Centre has been taken on rent for a very short period of time (we usually rent a building to set up a centre for nine years) and all the requisites for setting up a centre like dental chairs, slit lamps have been installed but they are old ones which have been installed. Moreover the centre requires more support staff for assisting the doctors and managing the patients which we have not been able to provide due to lack of funds and proper infrastructural set-up.
But as observed by our centre head, we have been able to gain the trust of the local people through our facilities. Since we function based on daily reports of patients and monthly feedback reports, the local community and even patients from far off places are coming to this centre for treatment.
The following is the feedback of a patient who has been benefitted by our centre:
Basanti : Basanti is a widower and stays with her son in a village near Champahati, which is located in one of the remote villages in South 24 Parganas but close to the Sundia Centre. Her son struggles every day for a daily existence and hence to help her son she plans seasonal vegetables in her garden to reduce expenses on food. But for the last few months she developed an itching problem in her eyes but she ignored it thinking that the visit to a doctor will incur a minimum amount of INR 300 including medicines. Her son heard about our centre from the local market and took her to our centre for an eye check up. Since he stays close to the centre, we have heard from him that her mother is now completely fine and often recommends the locals to go for treatment at our centre.