Our Work in Country
In 2006, Americares India Foundation was officially established in the country in connection with emergency response activities. In November 2008, Americares India opened an office in Mumbai and a warehouse in Bhiwandi. With on the ground staff, an increased supply of donated medicines, and a strategically located distribution hub, Americares has expanded its work in-country and is better positioned to serve the surrounding regions of Asia and Africa as it did when responding to the Nepal Earthquake. Americares India is addressing a wide range of health care needs from primary health care, to acute illness, chronic disease, malnutrition and emergency response. A Mobile Medical Center program has brought health care to the slums of Mumbai.
While the economy of India has grown rapidly in the past decade, the country’s public health system faces enormous challenges. The growing income disparity between rich and poor has served to highlight the lack of access to primary health care for both the rural and urban poor. Critical health issues:
- a high rate of malnutrition in children under the age of three
- a high infant mortality rate, with diarrheal disease as the primary cause of early childhood mortality.
- poor sanitation and lack of potable water, along with increased resistance to drugs have also contributed to high rates of communicable diseases.
- with economic growth has come a greater need for treatment of chronic disease
Americares has been providing access to medicine to health care providers in India since 1993. Through strong partnerships with local governmental and nongovernmental organizations Americares supports clinics, schools, hospitals and rural health organizations and responds to emergencies wherever and whenever they occur. To equip doctors and nurses with the tools they need to deliver quality care, Americares India has provided medicines and supplies on an ongoing basis to hospitals, clinics and public health programs.
We have deepened our commitment to the region in order to help more people live longer, healthier lives with the development and growth of Americares India.
In addition to supporting medical teams that provide emergency health care during a disaster, Americares India has created an innovative mobile medical unit program operating in the slums of Mumbai where people who live in crushing poverty face overcrowding, inadequate housing, poor hygiene, and lack of safe drinking water and sanitation. The mobile health center program utilizes especially equipped vans to bring both doctors and free medical services on a regular basis (6 days a week) to hundreds of people in 24 neighborhoods. The mobile teams visit the same neighborhoods every two weeks, treating hundreds of people and creating the opportunity for continuity of care. This sustainable care builds trust and strong working relationships local stakeholders, community leaders and area healthcare providers dedicated to building community health.
Americares comprehensive school health program serves 22,000 children (ages 5-14) across 79 municipal schools in Mumbai. A 14-member team brings positive change through health education, health interventions and WASH initiatives. Health education sessions address relevant health topics such as proper handwashing. Through health intervention, children identified by the school for eye care, hearing disability, anemia, and deworming receive appropriate care. WASH initiatives focus on providing access to safe drinking water, clean toilets and sanitation. And when children share their new health knowledge with friends and family, they become change agents for their communities.