India has made rapid strides in the health sector since independence. However, various eye opening data from NFHS clearly indicate that access to healthcare still remains a challenge.
While the health statistics of rural India continue to be poor, the health status and access to health for the poor in urban slum dwellers has surfaced to be equally deplorable and have less than 4% of government primary healthcare facilities.
Urban slum dwellers suffer from adverse health conditions owing to mainly two reasons –first the lack of education and thus lack of awareness; and second the unwillingness to lose a day’s wage in order to reach the nearest medical facility. Healthcare for underprivileged, which is a desperate need, thus remains unaddressed.
The need of the hour is thus a two pronged approach – first to bring quality healthcare services to doorsteps of the needy and second to promote healthcare awareness and contemporary healthcare seeking behavior among the underprivileged.
In such a scenario a mobile healthcare services delivery system is the most practical mechanism. And in subscription to this view, Nectar Shiksha has initiated the Smile on Wheels programme. This is a unique mobile hospital programme that seeks to address problems of mobility, accessibility and availability of primary healthcare with a special focus on children and women, in urban slums and remote rural areas.
Preventing avoidable blindness
Blindness and vision impairment are a major public health problem in India. Blindness has profound human and socio-economic impact. The gap between eye care needs and service levels is on the increase. CF with special focus on preventing avoidable blindness aims to reduce the burden of blindness in India through the following programmes:
- Setting up of Vision Centers;
- School eye screening;
- Screening and treatment of Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) and
- Providing state-of-the-art ophthalmic equipment for eye care institutions.
Promoting women and child health
The vast majority of maternal and child deaths occur despite existing known and affordable treatment. The need of the hour is to improve the access and quality of basic health services for women and children, helping save millions of lives. Cognizant Foundation has been supporting programmes to provide quality and timely healthcare to underserved women and children. These programmes focus on reducing infant mortality, infant disability and maternal mortality.
WHAT WE DID LAST YEAR
541,835 people received healthcare services through 34 operational projects in 478 remote villages and slums
Over 70% of the total beneficiaries covered in the reporting period were women and children
More than 10,000 school going children benefitted from School Health Programme
142 multi-speciality camps were conducted in underserved slums and remote rural areas, meeting the immediate healthcare needs of 37373 people