Smile Foundation is commemorating three months of its partnership with two Dutch non-profit foundations: Wilde Ganzen and Metta Child. Under this partnership, the three organisations have been running a Smile on Wheels mobile medical unit in and around Varanasi.
In three months of operations, this Smile on Wheels mobile medical unit has benefitted over 2,700 people, conducting more than 75 clinic sessions in the geographies it serves. Smile Foundation runs over 60 Smile on Wheels mobile healthcare units across the country.
The unit provides primary healthcare services and has sensitised around 501 beneficiaries on health issues while referring 81 beneficiaries to higher medical facilities for secondary and tertiary medical care.
Smile Foundation’s Smile on Wheels vans cover urban slums and rural locations where government healthcare facilities either do not exist or those that exist are unable to cater in full to people’s primary healthcare needs.
Each mobile healthcare unit covers a vicinity of up to 25 kilometres from its base and visits two to three villages a day. For secondary and tertiary healthcare, the mobile units refer patients to the nearest health facility.
Apart from providing curative services, teams staffing Smile on Wheels vans also carry out preventive and promotive activities to encourage health-seeking behaviour.
The pandemic has been a rude shock to the country’s public healthcare infrastructure, putting it under immense pressure. Throughout the past two years when the pandemic raged, interventions by private and public organisations have helped India strengthen its healthcare infrastructure and the delivery of healthcare services.
Briefing about the partnership, Rachida Boukhriss, Project Officer, Wilde Ganzen said, “Good healthcare is essential in the fight against poverty. Affordable and accessible care for everyone is the key to progress. Wilde Ganzen believes in its successful cooperation with Smile Foundation and Buddha Smile School for the Smile on Wheels project. With this project, we really make a difference.”
Highlighting the initiative, Vikram Singh Verma, Executive Director, Smile Foundation said, “We are grateful to Wilde Ganzen and Metta Child for their support in extending primary healthcare facilities to the underprivileged. Healthcare for all is the tenet that underlines our effort through Smile on Wheels mobile healthcare units.”
Smile Foundation’s Smile on Wheels initiative aims to reach the unreached with quality healthcare services. The programme has so far provided free healthcare services to more than 1.5 million children and families across the country.
So far, apart from helping underprivileged people through the Smile on Wheels initiative, Smile Foundation has distributed dry ration to 386,210 people across the country. The NGO has conducted country-wide drives to spread awareness on Covid-19, hand washing, personal hygiene, and vaccination. It has helped with Covid Sample Collection, distributed Covid screening kits among frontline and health workers, and mobilised resources to ensure the availability and distribution of Oxygen concentrators, RTPCR kits, and home isolation kits.
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