Medical poverty exists in India due to a variety of factors. According to a study published by the National Library of Medicine, “the poor people in the poorer states in India pay significantly more to avail hospitalization in public health centers than those in the developed states.” As a result, there are many organizations fighting to help as many people as possible access health care services in India.
Rural Health Care Foundation
Founded in 2009, the Rural Health Care Foundation (RHCF) works to ensure that marginalized and poor communities in rural and urban areas have access to quality primary health care. The Rural Health Care Foundation mainly targets West Bengal. Across West Bengal, the Rural Health Care Foundation has over 20 clinics that have treated over 22 lakh patients. The Rural Health Care Foundation supplies their patients with “affordable medical consultations along with a week’s supply of free medication.”
The Helan Centre is one of the 20 centers founded by the RHCF. On December 30, 2017, the Helan Centre opened its doors in the Hooghly district. A variety of services are provided at the Helan Centre such as dentistry and optometry. This center is open six days a week for patients between 9 am and 5 pm. More than 37,000 patients have been seen and treated.
Foundation for Mother and Child Health
Foundation for Mother and Child Health is a grassroots organization that focuses on malnutrition and maternal health. It provides information sessions to inform marginalized families, especially mothers and pregnant women about developing healthy nutrition habits to prevent anemia and maternal mortality.
The organization mainly targets poor communities in Mumbai, assisting more than 60,000 low-income families in the city. In addition to this, birth weights have increased to 2.7kg from 1.5kg. Plus, through a few interventions, breastfeeding rates have increased by 70%. Notably, more than 900 lactating and pregnant women have greatly benefited from the various counseling and education session programs provided by Foundation for Mother and Child.
Doctors for You
Created in 2007, Doctors for You is an organization made up of doctors and medical students as well as those with a passion to see everyone in India get free access to health care services. There are many critical areas of focus for this humanitarian organization. Supplying medical care to marginalized areas during emergency situations is one way Doctors for You is providing access to necessary medical services.
Delhi is one of many cities hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to help those living in Delhi receive proper treatment, Doctors for You assisted in operating a COVID-19 facility. It consisted of 100 beds in Shehnai Banquet Hall. Doctors for You also ran a facility that consisted of two intensive care units and 150 beds as well as two outpatient departments.
Rural Health Care Foundation, Foundation for Mother and Child Health and Doctors for You are just three organizations of many that help marginalized families access health care services in India. These organizations potentially saved a lot of lives, especially the lives of children and newborn babies. Groups like these want every person living in India to have a better and brighter future, and that starts with access to health care. Without proper access to health care, the cycle of poverty and malnutrition will never end in India. These organizations do a tremendous job looking out for poor communities that are often overlooked.
– Yonina Anglin