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CSR: Healthcare on Two-Wheels

Healthcare on motorcycle

Bureaucrats are generally criticized in mainstream media but these new age bureaucrats are changing the image of the whole class. Every other day you get to know an inspirational story of how they are making way against the odds. We should celebrate these heroes because the celebration is the least they deserve.

Chhattisgarh is infamous for its Naxal infested areas and till this date, a large part of Chhattisgarh is inaccessible by car. This creates a huge problem in providing emergency services like healthcare. Kabirdham district is one such area which is plagued with this problem. The district’s shoddy healthcare system found it impossible to reach the Baiga and Gond tribal communities. Ambulance services couldn’t reach their villages due to geographical constraints and were heavy on the pocket too. This does add to the Out Of Pocket Expenditure (OOPE) which impoverishes the majority of the population of India, so much so that women in intense labour had no choice but walk the 12 km path to the nearest government-run primary health care centre rather than pay for the ambulance.

When Awanish Saran took over as the district collector of Kabirdham district, he formulated an innovative system of bike ambulances. As women found it difficult and expensive to reach healthcare centres, a lot of deliveries happen at home which is a huge risk to the mother as well as the newborn child.

The riders of these motorcycles are locals who are savvy with the geography of the region and thus take the best possible route in case it is an emergency. The ambulance is equipped with all the first aid supplies to take care of emergencies. The patient is transported from the health care centres to their homes in the same ambulance and all this is free of cost. The District magistrate estimates this has reduced the OOPE to zero.

Small ideas can create big changes and this motorcycle ambulance initiative goes a long way in ensuring “Health for all”.

This piece is part of a series for celebrating the applaud-worthy contributions by the bureaucrats and civil servants of India.

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The CSR Journal Team