A quarter of India’s poor population lives in urban slums, facing overcrowding, inadequate housing, poor hygiene, and lack of safe drinking water and sanitation. With little or no public primary care infrastructure, their daily living conditions often lead to widespread infection, disease, dehydration and high levels of malnutrition in children under five.
On Site Health Care
In January 2011, AmeriCares India launched a program to bring high quality medical care and critical medicines directly to the desperate families in the slums of Mumbai. The pilot project utilizes especially equipped vans to bring both doctors and free medical services on a regular basis (6 days a week) to people in 24 neighborhoods in East Andheri and Chembur, where the city dump is located. The mobile teams visit the same neighborhoods every two weeks, which creates the opportunity for continuity of care, and builds trust and strong working relations with the local communities.
Working with local stakeholders, community leaders and area healthcare providers, AmeriCares mobile medical teams have conducted over 100,000 patient consultations since the program began.
The Mobile Clinics
Each fully-equipped mobile medical van is staffed with a doctor, pharmacy assistant and driver so that the immediate health care needs of the slum dwellers can be assessed and treated, and proper referrals can be made when necessary. Another focus of the mobile medical unit is to identify and care for patients with chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure, and to provide them with a continuous supply of free medicines. Electronic health records for all patients will be maintained to monitor the program and to facilitate follow-up treatments.
AmeriCares India Foundation is registered in India as a nonprofit disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization providing immediate response to emergency medical needs and long-term humanitarian assistance programs. AmeriCares India currently serves 21 states across India and has reached more than 10 million people through 55 affiliate partner organizations.