Bokaro: In an attempt to bring healthcare facilities within the reach of communities, Citizens Foundation, an NGO headquartered in Ranchi, Jharkhand, has been running Aarogya Rath – free Mobile Healthcare Unit (MHU) in Bokaro district to improve access to quality healthcare facilities in the area. The project has been undertaken in association with Bokaro-based steel maker, Vedanta Electrosteel Steels Limited (ESL). So far, two such free health camps have been set up in Siyaljori and Babugram villages in Bokaro.
While Citizens Foundation has taken care of the services on ground, including providing doctors for the healthcare units, Vedanta ESL has provided resources and funding for the initiative. In accordance with the National Health Mission and in convergence with the state health department, these mobile healthcare camps are being run using mobile healthcare units in Chas and Chandankiari blocks of Bokaro district. Under this, OPD health check-ups are being done and medicines are being provided to villager’s right at their doorsteps.
Ganesh Reddy, CEO, Citizens Foundation said, “We are currently providing curative and preventive healthcare through these units, in collaboration with Vedanta ESL. The Aarogya Rath mobile healthcare units are equipped with a doctor and cold chain facilities for medicine storage. All kinds of preliminary medical check-ups can be done through these mobile units. At a later stage, we may look into providing indoor facilities as well. We also plan to provide pathological services to people residing in the nearby districts in the coming days through these mobile units.”
The project was started on 5 August in Siyaljori and Babugram villages in the district. In the first two camps, around 50 people received free health check-up and treatment. By far around 2637 people have accessed the healthcare facility.
ESL is providing free pathological services and medicines to people residing in the nearby districts, under these camps. At present, the project is serving 27 villages in the two blocks of Chas and Chandankiari covering 10,500 households and around 54,000 people.
“State needs responsible corporates like Vedanta ESL”
Currently, there is one mobile health unit covering 27 villages. Furthermore, Vedanta ESL is all set to inaugurate a Health Clinic for better health facility for the citizens of the villages.
It is a great positive development that a big corporate like Vedanta ESL has collaborated with us and provided funds and resources for this project, said Reddy adding, “We need to see other corporates getting involved in initiatives like this so that similar facilities can be provided in all villages in Jharkhand and in other parts of the country. This could also be done in a public-private-partnership (PPP) mode for maximum coverage.”
Dr. K. K. Sinha (Former RCH Officer) who was also present in the camps said, “This is a great healthcare initiative as many people in the districts and villages surrounding Bokaro would benefit immensely from these health camps. The Aarogya Rath service, by Vedanta ESL and Citizens Foundation, will improve accessibility to healthcare in these villages thereby decreasing the need to travel long distances to get adequate treatment.”
Citizens Foundation also wants to conduct a baseline survey of the area to know about the healthcare problems in the villages and develop data on vector borne diseases and medical problems of the villagers. The results will help the Foundation develop a health action plan to serve the villagers better.