SBI Foundation and NSDL are coming together to tackle the high incidence of non-communicable, air-borne, and vector-borne diseases in slum settlements in Mumbai’s Govandi, Sion and Kurla areas by providing free doorstep healthcare through Mobile Medical Units, under the SBIF Sanjeevani programme. The program will be implemented by Doctors For You, a non-profit organisation working on access to quality healthcare in India.
One of SBI Foundation’s legacy projects, SBIF Sanjeevani has deployed 24 Mobile Medical Units (MMUs) or ‘clinic-on-wheels’ so far across 18 states and 2 union territories. With the Rs. 2.49 Crore funding support given by NSDL, and the addition of 3 new MMUs to the fleet, SBIF Sanjeevani will be introduced in 3 wards in Mumbai, and scaled up further to Uttar Pradesh’s Hardoi district in partnership with Gramin Vikas Trust, and Assam’s Baksa district in partnership with Assam Centre for Rural Development.
The 25th Mobile Medical Unit (MMU), which will traverse Mumbai’s Govandi, Sion and Kurla areas, was flagged off at a ceremony held at State Bank Bhavan in Mumbai by SBI Chairman Mr. Dinesh Khara and MD & CEO NSDL Ms. Padmaja Chunduru, in the presence of top officials from the organisations.
SBIF Sanjeevani was launched in 2017 to drive access to primary healthcare and referral services for the most vulnerable, remote, and impoverished communities across India, where public and private healthcare infrastructure is either lacking or is of poor quality.
The baseline study conducted across 2250 households along the charted route by Doctors For You (DFY), SBIF Sanjeevani’s implementation partner for Mumbai, found a concerning prevalence of non-communicable diseases and various forms of addiction, among other things. While non-communicable diseases like hypertension, diabetes, heart conditions etc. and co-morbidities were discovered in 20-25% of the population, almost 60% of the population grappled with some form of addiction, like chewing tobacco, smoking or consuming alcohol. Sections of the community practice poor sanitation and hygiene, leading to a high prevalence of vector-borne diseases like dengue, malaria, and diarrhoea among children, which further peaks during breeding season. Furthermore, the communities reside in congested spaces, along lanes with open drains which are a breeding ground for many air-borne diseases. People also seek advice and treatment from local quacks, as existing public healthcare facilities are overburdened and private health care facilities are expensive.
The Mobile Medical Units (MMUs) will employ a community-specific strategy, and address general health concerns surrounding non-communicable diseases like hypertension and diabetes, gynaecological issues, common ailments in adolescents, malnutrition, skin conditions, and provide geriatric care as well. The residents will be able to avail these services free of cost.
Besides screening and treatment, daily camps will be held by the MMU on subjects like maternal and child health and WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) practices. OPD services will be available 22 days a month. The project would engage stakeholders from the public healthcare system like Health and Development officers of the BMC, ICDS, Block Development Program, CHCs and PHCs, as well as Anganwadis, ASHA workers, ANMs etc. The initiative will serve over 20,000 residents.
“At SBI, we constantly endeavour to contribute to the welfare of the citizens and the betterment of our Nation. Project Sanjeevani, a unique initiative where the State and local health departments, local NGOs, and SBI Foundation work in unison, will help in providing basic medical facilities to the communities we serve,” said Mr. Dinesh Khara, Chairman, SBI.
“NSDL is proud to be associated with a prestigious organisation like SBI for the Sanjeevani initiative. This project not only ensures primary healthcare services but also stands to improve the overall health status of rural India. NSDL aims to continue extending this project to other States and Union. Territories across the country, to serve rural and remote communities in India,” said Ms. Padmaja Chunduru, CEO, NSDL.
“Project Sanjeevani is one of our key CSR initiatives for providing primary healthcare services to people in underserved areas. We are delighted to join hands with NSDL to implement this project across the strategically planned locations in India,” added Mr. Sanjay Prakash, MD and CEO, SBI Foundation.
The remaining two vehicles which will serve Hardoi, Uttar Pradesh and Baksa, Assam are set to be flagged off soon.
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