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Mobile Health Outreach Programme

Hope on Wheels

Facing the target of improving rural India’s access to healthcare is complicated, mainly because of the lack of adequate infrastructure.Even where there is the basic infrastructure, finding the right manpower to hold forth is tough because trained people often go in for better and more financially viable options. ACM GIDF has what could be called a deceptively simple solution to this complex problem – if people don’t have an easy access to healthcare, take healthcare to their doorsteps, perched on wheels.

The project uses medically equipped vehicles carrying healthcare professionals to remote and underserved corners of Madhya Pradesh. Our Mobile Health Outreach Programme team holds medical check up camps, distributes free medicines, sensitizes villagers about preventive measures like cleanliness and sanitization and holds awareness camps on family planning and HIV/AIDS. Our trained healthcare professionals make sure that all medical records of each patient are maintained properly, so that follow up visits become effective. Our team has also come up with the idea of putting up bill boards in vantage locations within the target area, mentioning camp schedules and emergency contact numbers.

The impact, till date, has been extremely encouraging. Inspired by the increased participation of villagers, we have now started organizing special camps for most vulnerable target groups, like pregnant women and children. These camps, powered with focused IEC material and documentary videos, helped the village women better understand how to address these specific areas of concern. For many of the participants in these camps, it was almost like an once-in-a-lifetime experience, because they gained knowledge that had never reached them before.

What has been the effectiveness of GIDF’s MHO project?

The MHO project is run by a team of 3 qualified health workers including medical practitioners and health workers. On an average the GIDF MHO project involves covering 30 of villages a month. Here are some interesting facts and figures:

  • Till mid 2010, a total of 2,00,000 people have been given free medical consultation by GIDF’s MHO project.
  • GIDF’s MHO project has a team of 3 staff that are dedicated to providing free primary level medical consultation.
  • On an average each MHO camp involves consultation to 100-150 number of people.

In addition to offering free medical advice, the health workers associated with the GIDF’s MHO programme also offer support and guidance about diseases like Malaria that can be avoided by simple measure like using mosquito nets. Providing information and awareness about preventable diseases is a key part of the MHO initiative. Since the MHO programme usually has very high participation from people living in and around the villages (sometimes reaching up to 100 people), we seize this opportunity to create awareness about HIV/AIDS prevention, information about importance of hygiene, good nutrition and the importance of providing timely immunization to young children. Women often proactively seek advice from MHO staff about reproductive and birthing issues. Although GIDF runs specific reproductive child health programmes, the MHO programme serves as a very potent platform to address concern and create awareness about healthy pregnancy.

"Earlier we had to travel for 50-60 kilometres by bus to reach the nearest GP. With this programme (MHO) the GP comes in a van to us. We feel much looked after"
Ram mata, Gabri village