RED International’s partner, OMIF, has appointed Community Health Workers (CHW) in Good Shepherd Schools across India and developed regional and mobile clinics amongst poor and marginalised communities.
Community healthcare and preventative intervention in health issues is strategic for poor and marginalized communities. India has large scale health inequalities and a healthcare system which is secondary care focused. Healthcare costs are borne by the service user which causes 40 million people in India into poverty every year.
Operation India Mercy Foundation (OMIF) is a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) which works across India amongst marginalised and socially excluded communities – principally amongst the Dalits. The organisation has established over 100 English medium schools across seventeen states and is currently educating 26,000 children. Community Health Workers have been appointed to seventy of these schools. OMIF requested help with strengthening this CHW programme.
CHWs play a major role in delivering health care to the students in the schools, monitoring their growth chart, providing vitamin tablets, personal care, etc. They also support the student’s extended families and the wider community. The CHWs will be involved in dealing with many of the easily preventable health issues common to poor communities. The Community Health Workers will eventually be linked to a network of regional and mobile clinics. There are currently around 60 trained Community Health Workers who have been placed at Good Shepherd Schools along with, 5 regional clinics and 2 mobile clinics in operation.
It is the intention that each Good Shepherd School will eventually be equipped with audio visual equipment and show a variety of government sponsored DVDs covering topics such as health and hygiene, disease prevention, HIV awareness and family planning.
Potential Long Term Impact
- Universal provision of high quality, low cost primary care has the potential to address healthcare needs of many and avoid catastrophic bills for inappropriate interventions.
- Showing educational films to the Dalit-Bahujan children can empower and transform the wider community.
To see how Community Health Workers have benefitted communities see:
- 1000 days project – India
- Joginis and the anti-trafficking project
- Rajasthan Health Clinic
- Belgaum Health Clinic
There are opportunities to support the work of the Dalit Healthcare Initiative generally or to help in specific areas e.g. the training and placement of a Community Health Worker or help with the running costs of the mobile clinics.
Current Healthcare Projects in India. Two Mobile Clinics have also been established through funding received from BUPA Giving. These clinics now operate in the support of the Dalit Healthcare initiative. They are used at medical camps at different Good Shepherd Schools or just to support the work of the Community Health Workers. They are also available for use in times of emergency such as the floods in southern Andhra Pradesh.
- The running costs of the mobile clinics are £19,900 per year.
- This comes to around £1,600 per month or £383 per week or just £55 per day, to equip, staff and support the operations of these units.
- It costs £3,500 to recruit, train and support a Community Health Worker for one year.
If you would like to give to these projects and/or receive updates to support the development of India's poorest communities, please contact us.