Jul 3, 2017

Report: Set Up A New Rural Health Care Centre

women patients at the centre
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. 

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Jun 19, 2017

Set Up A New Rural Healthcare Centre, India 17005

Doctor checking Hamza's eye power: Mayapur centre
Doctor checking Hamza's eye power: Mayapur centre

Hamza, a 42 year old local resident of Mayapur, works at a small handicraft shop in her village. She was highly fond of stitching and knitting, however because of the severe headaches that she was suffering from, she was not being able to work with the required focus and precision.  Her headaches and blurred vision not only hindered her work, but also led to difficulties in carrying out her daily chores.

“The kind of work I do needs lot of precision and focus. Knitting and stitching is a craft that not only requires hand-play but concentration.  However, due to my headaches and putting continuous strain on my eyes, I was unable to carry out my work accurately” says Hamza.

 Her supervisors had started rebuking her for the errors she was making and she feared that she might be fired if she kept on making mistakes. With three young children and being the only earning member in her family she had the sole responsibility of their livelihood and of her children’s education. Affording expensive check-ups was not possible for her with such a low income. Then she decided to visit our centre for a check-up as the fee we charged was nominal and within her reach. Our health care clinic being well-equipped with qualified professionals guided Hamza and assisted her with a proper eye check-up. She was prescribed with eye-drops, medicines and a pair of spectacles as her eyes were acquiring a high positive power.  Adhering to RHCF’s vision she was provided with spectacles at a subsidized rate along with required power glasses.

Today, Hamza works without any difficulty and her love for handicraft continues. The spectacles and medication has helped her regain her accuracy and now she is working very efficiently. She regularly comes to visit our centres whenever she or her family needs medical assistance. Moreover she has been able to convince several other women who are facing the same difficulties to visit our centre.

We at RHCF believe in touching lives of the underprivileged and making it better with good health. Hamza is one among such several lives and these achievements have only been possible because of the tremendous support and funds that we receive. It is the funds that have allowed us to set up and operate seventeen primary health care centres (11 Rural Clinics and 6 Urban Clinics) in and across West Bengal, reaching out to over 1.5 million people. Each centre runs four departments namely General Medicine, Optometry, Dentistry and Homoeopathy. At the cost of INR 60 ($ 1), patients are provided diagnosis and free medicine for seven days. The centres also provide free spectacles to those in need. Moreover, each primary health care centre, in collaboration with other organizations, facilitates free cataract and cleft lip/palate surgeries for those in need.

The task at hand is huge and our intention over the last few years has been to spread out and serve as many people as we can, by establishing more such healthcare centres. The need in the current times is to scale up our existing operations to other districts of the state. In order to operate and set up new centres, we require constant funding. The funds would be used for purchasing medical equipment, hiring medical as well as support staff, staff at the Head Office, setting up infrastructure at the clinics, purchasing medicines etc.

Since the Government run medical facilities are sparse in these rural areas, news of patients benefitting from the treatment received at our clinic spreads to the neighbouring villages, resulting in constant increase of footfall of patients at our clinics. We therefore feel the need to reach out to more such areas addressing the needs of more patients.

Hamza's eye-sight being checked
Hamza's eye-sight being checked
Mar 23, 2017

Set Up A New Rural Healthcare Centre, India (17005)

It has indeed been overwhelming to receive funds that have allowed us to set up and operate ten primary health care centres (9 Rural Clinics and 5 Urban Clinics) in across four districts of West Bengal, India reaching out to over 1.5 million people. Each centre runs four departments namely General Medicine, Optometry, Dentistry and Homoeopathy. At the cost of INR 60 ($ 1), patients are provided diagnosis and free medicine for seven days. The centres also provide free spectacles to those in need. Beside this, each primary health care centre, in collaboration with other organizations, facilitates free cataract and cleft lip/palate surgeries for those in need. 

The task at hand is huge and our intention over the last few years,  has been to spread out and serve as many people as we can, by establishing more such healthcare centres. The need in the current times is to scale up our existing operations to other districts of the state. In order to operate and set up new centres, we require constant funding. The funds would be used for purchasing medical equipment, hiring medical as well as support staff, staff at the Head Office, setting up infrastructure at the clinics, purchasing medicines etc. 

Since the Government run medical facilities are sparse in these rural areas , news of patients benefitting from the treatment received at our clinic spreads to the neighbouring villages , resulting in constant increase of footfall of patients at our clinics. We therefore feel the need to reach out to more such areas addressing the needs of more patients.

The following is the feedback of a patient who is benefitted from our services. 

9-year-old Jasmin , is a bright young girl, full of life. She studies in a municipal school in Namkhana, South 24 Pargana, West Bengal. Everything was going well until one afternoon when after returning from school, she vomited, passed stools and was feverish. The next day she was rushed to RHCF’s Namkhana Centre. The general physician at the centre, suspected food poisoning. Something went wrong after she had the midday meal at school, the previous day. Strangely, her schoolmates were fine. Dr. Karmakar recommended regular intake of ORS and a 7-day course of medicines. Hospitalization was recommended if she continued vomiting.

However, Jasmin did not need to be hospitalized. Doctor’s  medication and ORS were enough to help in her speedy recovery. After a week, when she came back to the clinic with her father, for a follow up with the doctor, the duo looked happy. Abdul, Jasmin’s father is a farmer by profession. On Jasmin’s second visit to the doctor, he brought vegetables from his farm as a token of thanks. Doctor  told him that Jasmin had a weak immune system which would improve if she visited the centre regularly for check-ups and medication. Abdul was so grateful and satisfied with the treatment and the doctor’s behaviour that he recommended the services to his close friends and family members. Jasmin continues to visit the health centre regularly.

 
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