India after decades of independence is still struggling to provide basic health care facilities to its citizens. Provisions for basic health care services especially in rural India are few and far between. It’s an understood reality that the elderly fall way behind in receiving these services.
WHAT IS HELPAGE INDIA DOING
An important feature of HelpAge India's health care initiative for the elderly is organizing health camps in rural as well as urban areas of the country. Since 2010, HelpAge in association with its network has successfully organised both general and specialized health camps for the elderly. A general camp team comprises of general physician, pharmacist and assistant.
A specialised health camp has a team of specialised doctors like dentists, ophthalmologists, gynaecologist, orthopaedic besides general physician, pharmacist and assistant. The health camps ensuring diagnosis, treatment and referrals for general ailments, dental care, gynaecological conditions and ophthalmic diseases are carried out. These camps also focus on preventive health care program through Information, Education and Communication and Behaviour Change Communication activities among the community.
Identification of camp sites is organised and target population are reached out with the support of the local Organizations. Meetings with the stakeholders are held and a venue is chosen a week before the camp. The health officials are notified and publicity campaigns are organised. Free diagnosis, medicines, and referrals are provided and incidences of epidemic and endemic diseases recorded. Data on number of camps organised, number of villages covered, number of persons who got treatment and referrals and activities done during the camp is maintained.
Current Program Status
Every year 200 health camps are organized over 22 states covering approximately 800 villages. These are carried out from MMU and ASCENT (Agecare Service Centres). On an average 25000 elderly are reached out through this initiative.
To promote the concept of "Right to Better Health"; develop health seeking behaviour in the community; control general diseases by promoting community health care; make health care services available to the community.
The target for the next 5 years is organising 2000 Health Camps by covering more than 8000 catchment locations to reach approximately 4 lac elderly across India.