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regular-article-logo Sunday, 21 July 2024

Assam government ties up with Hans Foundation to offer healthcare in tea gardens

This initiative aims to enhance healthcare access and outcomes in the region, initially covering 120 tea gardens, 60 in each district

PTI Guwahati Published 16.06.24, 04:56 PM
Representational Image

Representational Image File photo

To provide quality healthcare among tea garden communities, the Assam government has joined hands with The Hans Foundation (THF) to roll out 40 medical vans equipped with all facilities to carry out diagnosis and offer basic treatment across 120 gardens.

The Labour Welfare Department and THF have recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to launch the Hans Mobile Medical Unit Project in 120 most vulnerable tea gardens of Tinsukia and Dibrugarh districts of Assam.

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"A government cannot look after each and every citizen even if it tries hard. This project is going to be a long-term one, which will offer quality healthcare among one of the most deprived communities of the state," Labour Welfare department Principal Secretary B Kalyan Chakravarthy told PTI.

Terming the development as one of the most satisfying, he said this initiative will extend the reach of healthcare among the tea garden communities.

"There is another aspect. We often get to hear that the people from tea gardens usually fall prey to sorcerers in case of illness due to lack of adequate health facilities in interior places. We aim to curb that too. Modern medical facilities will now be available at their doorsteps through these vans," Chakravarthy said.

He, however, said the existing healthcare set-up or clinics operated by respective tea garden managements will continue and the new programme will only enhance the ongoing system.

As per the MoU, which is initially for five years, a total of 40 medical vans equipped with healthcare professionals will provide regular check-ups, treatments and preventive care to tea garden workers and their families in Tinsukia and Dibrugarh.

This initiative aims to enhance healthcare access and outcomes in the region, initially covering 120 tea gardens, 60 in each district.

"The mobile medical units will offer a comprehensive package of services, including OPD consultations, free medicines, diagnostic tests, counselling and awareness sessions. We will start the first batch of 24 vehicles from July 1," THF regional senior manager Krishna told PTI.

Additionally, home visits for the elderly and persons with disabilities as well as referrals to tertiary care centres for critical patients will be part of the services provided, he added.

"In the second phase, we will add 16 more vehicles, taking the total to 40 vans. Each van will have five persons -- doctor, nurse, pharmacist, laboratory technician and driver. The services will work 22 days in a month," Krishna said.

Asked about investments, he said each van requires Rs 50 lakh to install all the equipment. Considering all the 40 vehicles, around Rs 20 crore will be pumped in for this social project and it will be fully funded by THF.

The Labour Welfare Department and the district authorities will support THF by providing regular administrative assistance.

The project will require around 220 people, who will be hired by the Gurgaon-based THF, Krishna said.

As a second step of the initiative, THF will set up wellness centres in tea gardens for mother and child care, he added.

"These wellness centres will be daycare facilities, where OPD, pathological, vaccination and other services will be offered. This is being launched considering that tea garden women are usually anaemic and have a high mortality rate," Krishna said.

Established in 2009, THF is a public charitable trust working for the well-being of all in over 1,200 villages and 14 cities across 25 states.

THF focuses on empowering marginalised and underprivileged communities in India, with key initiatives in health and wellbeing, education, livelihood and climate action, with special focus on children, persons with disabilities, and women.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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