Set Up A New Rural Healthcare Centre, India

by Rural Health Care Foundation
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Set Up A New Rural Healthcare Centre, India
Set Up A New Rural Healthcare Centre, India
Set Up A New Rural Healthcare Centre, India
Set Up A New Rural Healthcare Centre, India
Set Up A New Rural Healthcare Centre, India
Set Up A New Rural Healthcare Centre, India
Set Up A New Rural Healthcare Centre, India
Set Up A New Rural Healthcare Centre, India
Set Up A New Rural Healthcare Centre, India
Set Up A New Rural Healthcare Centre, India
Set Up A New Rural Healthcare Centre, India
Set Up A New Rural Healthcare Centre, India
Set Up A New Rural Healthcare Centre, India
Set Up A New Rural Healthcare Centre, India
Set Up A New Rural Healthcare Centre, India

There are always challenges in making high-quality healthcare accessible and available to the poor rural communities in low-cost. The COVID-19 outbreak, however, has been especially difficult and has demanded extraordinary measures.

The lockdown in India directly affected our operations and even after we strived to bring back normalcy in our services, we realized the underprivileged communities either lacked in the understanding of life saving preventive measures or completely ignored them. Thus, in these past months, we have been combining quality treatment with COVID prevention awareness. We have incorporated several preventive measures within our operations. Screens have been put up to shield the patients as well as our team. Masks and gloves have been made mandatory for all staff members along with daily temperature checks. Patients, too, get their temperature checked and we have sanitizers as well as handwashing areas set up for them.

After observing an aversion to masks among our communities, for their own safety we have made proper face covering mandatory for seeking treatment. We have also distributed masks among them.

The underprivileged and rural communities are especially vulnerable during any crisis and currently we are witnessing an increase in coronavirus cases in the rural areas. The critical need for primary care, however, is still clearly evident.

Despite the restrictions in railway services in India—an important and often main method of transportation for rural residents—we have noticed a considerably high patient count. Since restarting our services post-lockdown, we have treated over 35,700 patients.

Basic primary medical care is crucial to improving and maintaining ones health so, now more than ever, we have to continue our work with even greater vigour. The outbreak has been relentless in its effect on the poor but we, too, are persistent in our efforts.

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The last few months have been as unprecedented for us as they have been uncertain. Even before the COVID-19 crisis hit the most critical point, it was obvious that many were at risk of contracting the virus and even succumbing to it.

Our communities, whose poverty stricken lives often prevent them from having strong health, were at risk too. Even though our focus is on primary care, it was time to spread awareness about the preventive measures that could keep them safe. The lack of proper educational opportunities in remote rural areas meant that we had to teach them the different measures of hygiene while also encouraging the communities to stick to them.

Our solution was educating our patients and giving them the means to practice it.

While our team members spoke about the hand-washing techniques and the importance of social distancing, we also handed out soaps to our patients and their accompanying family members. We spoke to them about the outbreak and explained that the methods could shield them as well as others in their communities.

Our efforts in maintaining the quality of care for our poor patients has always rewarded us with community members having greater faith in modern medicine. This time the faith helped them listen to us and understand the advice.

With the simple but effective tools of protection our communities now have much greater degree of safety from the virus.

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Little Sara is only a year and a half old but her big expressive eyes are filled with innocence and curiosity. Apple of her parents’ eyes, Sara’s wellbeing is always on their minds.

Sara’s hard working father is a daily labourer and her mother tries to manage their home with efficiency, despite their insufficient income. Like many families in rural areas, they struggle against poverty and impoverishment with hardship and hope.

The little one was brought to our centre when she developed fever. Her mother (in picture) was worried about her baby’s health. Our doctor checked her, attentively listened to the mother’s concerns, diagnosed her and prescribed her medications, which her mother then collected from our centre pharmacy for free.

Its normal for children to fall sick sometimes. However, with many rural areas deprived of basic medical facilities, a little cold and fever can worry parents. Many villages in West Bengal still don’t have access to good primary care. Parents with sick kids often travel long distances just to see a doctor, who is often unavailable or dismissive to their questions and concerns.

Our Jagatballavpur centre was set up only in November 2018, not very long before Sara was born. It helped her recover fast and become healthy again, especially at an age that is so important for a child’s development. The relief on her mother face was the reward we received for our efforts. She was happy. The doctor had listened to her, she had the medicines for little Sara and she could now go back home in no time – giving the unwell child the medicines and rest she needed.

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This is Tasmima. She’s a 50 year old woman with a big heart.

Her husband, a labourer, is a daily wage worker. If they are being frugal, his earnings are just about enough for sustenance.

Tasmima is fairly healthy.

It wasn’t, however, always like this. For a long time, she suffered from a headache and body ache which just wouldn’t get better.

She visited some doctors who recommended CT Scans to her. The family then used whatever money they had and got it done. The doctors, however, couldn’t detect anything. Tasmima had never been one to give up, but she was disheartened. The money was gone and she was still in a lot of pain.

Then she visited our Helan centre. Our general physician listened to her, understood her concerns, made the diagnosis and recommended a three week treatment plan. With our low-cost medical care, treatment was finally affordable for her.

Tasmima is now completely recovered. Her head doesn’t hurt anymore, neither does her body.

She’s happy now, as happy as poverty can allow one to be; but she has a strong mind and with that huge heart of hers she blesses us for helping her become her healthier self again.

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Before falling ill, Dulu used to earn his living through manual labour. Though physically straining, his work provided enough to sustain him well.

Then the 65 year old Dulu became very unwell. It started with cold and cough, then he developed dyspnoea – a symptom marked by severe shortness of breath. As his condition worsened, Dulu’s work started getting affected. Unable to work any longer, he was forced to borrow money from others.

Dulu suffered for four years before visiting our centre in Patuli village, which has been running for little over 2 ½ years. Due to the severity of this condition, he had to be under treatment for 3 months.

Being in villages affected by prolonged absence of healthcare facilities, patients like Dulu often ignore medical care. Their reliance on unqualified medical practitioners (quacks) and their mistrust in modern medicine worsens their health. To help people like them, we conduct awareness activities to educate and encourage them to seek proper treatment. Dulu is one of many whose minds were changed towards effective medical care. Affordability of services made it easy for him to stick to his treatment plan.

Dulu has now recovered and has gone back to work. His income isn’t a lot, but he doesn’t need to borrow money anymore. With better health, he will have a better life.

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Organization Information

Rural Health Care Foundation

Location: Kolkata, West Bengal - India
Website:
Project Leader:
Anant Nevatia
Rural Health Care Foundation
Kolkata, West Bengal India
$12,977 raised of $20,000 goal
 
195 donations
$7,023 to go
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