The elderly (60+ years) form 10% of India’s population and an estimated 5.27 crore live below the poverty line. Access to affordable and quality healthcare is a distant dream for a majority of them. The situation has been further worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, which impacted senior citizens the most.
To #BridgeTheGap, HelpAge India has over the years developed several healthcare programs for disadvantaged elderly. The first of these are our Mobile Healthcare Services, the core of which is the Mobile Healthcare Unit (MHU). Each MHU has a doctor, pharmacist and social worker. The first one was set up in 1982 and today we operate one of Asia’s largest mobile healthcare networks for elders, with 165 MHUs operating across 2400 villages in 24 States and Union Territories.
Our ‘Restoration of Vision’ program has been equally impactful. 90% of those suffering from cataract in India are elderly. We select credible and competent eye hospitals and organizations to conduct free cataract surgeries. Since 1980, the program has benefited more than 11 lakh elders.
We also have a Cancer and palliative care program and a geriatric physiotherapy program. During the COVID-19 pandemic we helped facilitate the vaccination of more than 9 lakh elders and their community.