Project Rationale & Background

Out Reach Health Camp at Nepali Basti Rourkela

Sensitization Meeting at Urban Slum Health Programme

Slums are virtually un-served or underserved pockets within an urban settlement. There are 116 slums in Rourkela municipality and steel township area providing shelter to 1, 54,092 people that constitute 31.8% of the towns’ total combined population. Congestion of so many poor people in just few discarded spots of the town is sure to breeds extreme environment and health complications as well as serious social problems warranting urgent attention from the administration and government.

The Orissa Slum Health Care project with assistance from NRHM, India seeks to address the gap through establishment of Urban Slum Health Centers on PPP mode that could provide i) basic RCH preventive care, such as antenatal care, immunization, vitamin A, birth-spacing, Reproductive tract infections, and sexually transmitted infections ii) referral for high-risk pregnancy and newborn emergency, and iii) outreach services

Presently, SEWAK runs a Tier-2 Urban Health Centre (one of 3 such centres in Odisha) at Tilkanagar, near Bondamunda in Rourkela. Begun, on 1, November, 2007 as a Tier-1 UHP, it was upgraded to Tier-2 in the subsequent year. Now, the Centre makes available a wide-range of health related services, such as, OPD, referral, laboratory testing, awareness generation, community mobilization, BCC, health camp, adolescent training, social marketing, etc. to 23004 people inhabiting 18 slums of the area.

Accomplishments Under The Project
  • The Project sought to encourage ANCs and PNCs among the expectant mothers in the slum as they promote the growth and wellbeing of the child and its mother. Very few women of the slum had ever shown up for such tests. However 924 women availed themselves of ANC and 1023 for PNC facility at the Urban Health Center between second and twelfth weeks of their pregnancies and after childbirth.
  • SEWAK’s Urban Health Project team linked a total of 647 pregnancy cases to Rourkela Government Hospital. From among them, 351 poorer women were given initial financial support covering transportation amounting to around 150 rupees.
  • Family Planning is an important component of the Urban Health Project. The UHP team succeeded in persuading 104 women and 6 men for tubectomy and NSV respectively.
  • 119 outreach health camps were organized in relatively inaccessible area to cover remote and reticent segments in the slum population. 6960 patients were examined and treated in those camps. Over the camps, the team provided referral to serious patients, organized awareness meeting and provided counseling to pregnant mothers and adolescent girls.
  • The program staffs have organized 30 BalikaMandals involving 484 adolescent girls living in various slums. Over the period 174 Balikamandal meeting and 35 adolescent training focusing on reproductive health and life skill have been conducted in different area. 41 quiz competitions have been organized among the participants to evaluate their awareness of Adolescent, Reproductive & Child Health (ARCH) issues
  • Free laboratory test is crucial to effective treatment of the diseases, but due to rising cost of examination, slum people rarely go for such tests. So far, 3574 people have been examined free of charges at the USHP for various complications.
  • In the coverage area, thirty Community Based Distribution (CBD) Centers have been formed for Social Marketing of Contraceptives. The USHP team organized 34 CBD trainings providing lessons to 318 persons regarding contraceptives promotion.
  • To create awareness in the public at large, the UHP team has been organizing intensive pulse polio immunization, swine flu awareness camps, street-plays, and video-shows at different crowded locations of the city.
Developmental Prospects

In the second year of the project, the few stray attempts made by SEWAK to provide skill training to the 484 adolescent girls registered in the 30 BalikaMandals, have already been mired due to lack of funding and support, whereas the girls deserved it in view of the grim economic situations widespread in the slum area. There is also need to cover up the expectant mother population of the slum with weekly ante-natal checkups, preferably by an additional women doctor. Besides, there have been several instances of the available stock of medicine running out during a health or outreach camp. Maybe, the drug companies of the state lent a fraction of their surplus stock to strengthen the process.