The target area of Samhathi is treated a ‘hotspot’ even by the Health Department of the State due to the highly deteriorated condition and strong presence of various diseases. Our studies in the target area reveal that 15% to 30% of family income is spent on health care and treatments. Therefore various level interventions in health sector became inevitable.
Started in 2008, this has become the largest project in the State providing home based care to more than 800 terminally sick persons by professional team consisting 9 doctors, 7 medical nurses and 170 health volunteers. It renders an average 600 home care every year at an expense of about 3.0 million Indian Rupee. The project is run mostly from the donations collected via the charity boxes kept in shops and the donations from 730 local donors. Samhathi-Austria has included this project in their fund raising campaign to provide food stuff to the most needy patients and that has been done since four years.
Samhathi gives high priority to preventive health and so in order to promote the same various activities are going on since 15 years. This includes naturopathy camps, medical camps, promotion of herbal gardens, cleansing and regeneration of local environment through massive reforestation measures, village cleaning exercises etc. All the various platforms of pepole’s organizations like SHGs /OFSHGs, Sanghams, Zonal structures etc, Children’s Clubs and Study Centres are made use to promote preventive health measures in all the target villages. The newly launched Samhathi-Vision 2025 (SV9) Project also envisages a number of measures in this regard to improve the local health conditions, including introducing health insurance providing high degree of coverage to access health care available in reputed private hospitals.
There are 14 Filariasis Clubs exclusively functioning to provide both medical care and rehabilitation support to 540 persons affected by Lymphatic Filarisaris. This was a totally new initiative in 2007 in cooperation with the Alleppey Medical College to help the affected overcome social stigma and develop their own fraternity where they felt comfortable and received mutual support to face this dreaded disease. Exclusive medical camps and gatherings of the Club members help them to lead socially acceptable lives with self-dignity.
Those in need of psychiatric care and treatment are still regarded with social bias and stigma in the area and so often the ones needing such care are either neglected or thrown to destiny. It was in this situation Samhathi initiated a new unit to extend care to such persons in 2009. So far more than 420 patients received support of the unit and a good number of them made successful come back to normal lives. The Unit is run in collaboration with another local NGO which provides necessary qualified personnel to run the unit with Out Patient Care and home based care. Under the new Project – Samhathi-Vision 2025, this unit is under expansion plans and will reach out to 600 patients by the end of 2017.
Every year a good number of deaths take place due to the inability of the target population to access quality health care available in the private hospitals in the city areas. Unfortunately the State supported health insurance is quite inadequate to help people to access such care and so Samhathi introduced its own health insurance scheme in collaborate with an insurance company and that provides insurance coverage of ₹ 2, 00,000 (about 3000 €) at a relatively small premium amount affordable to the target families. The premium is paid through the SHG system and so the families do not feel any burden on them.