Regular medical checkups are now becoming a burden for the poor even if some diseases are diagnosed due to huge consultation fees and cost of medicines. Hence, people are not ready to go for voluntary health checkups pretending no illness and thereby risking their lives. The World Health Organization recommends regular medical checkups for everyone to diagnose life threatening diseases at an early stage.
The recent history of huge increase in cancer patients confirm the view of WHO and most of the people are unable to retain their life due to late diagnosis. At present, a regular medical checkup costs from Rs. 6000/- to Rs. 12,000/- which is unreachable to the majority striving to meet two ends.Even after decades of freedom, India is struggling to provide basic health services to its people. According to government sources, in India 45 children die every hour due to respiratory infections. 1 child dies every 2 minutes due to diarrhoea. And annually, about 2 million children under 5 years of age die due to preventable diseases. The situation calls for timely care and diagnosis which can reduce the incidence of morbidity and mortality especially among children and women. Sevabharathi provides healthcare services to meet the immediate health care needs of the marginalized community in remote rural areas and slums through standalone camps. Customized health camps are organized extensively across the country offering comprehensive health services – curative, preventive, primitive and referral, to a large number of people in selected intervention areas.
Sevabharathi Kerala is conducting free medical camps and ensuring the primary health services through one doctor, a nurse and paramedical staffs. The camps are carried out monthly at different parts of Thiruvananthapuram targeting the rural population who are less aware of recent medical developments and vulnerable to late diagnosis. These medical camps are associated with distribution of free medicines and lab tests.
Attukal Pongala is the world‟s biggest gathering of women and an average of 40 lacks of women devotees are participating every year to perform the Pongala ritual. The fest is in the end of February or the first week of March and the devotees offer their prayers under the scorching sun at the heart of Thiruvananthapuram. Enormous heat from the environment affect these people and emergency medical situation is very common in the day.
Sevabharathi conducts free medical checkup on the day in 15 stations with the service of 50 doctors, 100 nurses and 100 paramedical staffs to ensure a safe festival every year. An average of 1500 to 3000 people are benefitted from this project and the free ambulance service on that day at 15 prime locations is also a blessing for the people in emergency situations.
Sevabharathi runs 24 x 7 medical ambulance services for meeting emergency situations in a day to day basis. The major station is at Medical college, Thiruvananthapuram where the medical emergency services are concentrated in the hands of private parties. These cartels are offering their services at huge rate which is inaccessible to the poor.
Sevabharathi runs the ambulance services at a no profit no loss basis and the price of services rendered is limited to 30% to 40% of the market rate. Sevabharathi unit has 7 ambulance services at present which meets an average of 50 service requests per day. These ambulances also serve in natural calamities and disasters at free of cost and hence Sevabharathi ambulance services became a blessing to the common people in general and for police and other Government in case of emergency medical situations.
In addition to the ambulance services provided by Sevabharathi, the organization provides mobile mortuary services at a very subsidized rate. An average of 20 service requests are met by the Sevabharathi mobile mortuary services per month.
Blood can be called as the life blending liquid which connects the vital parts of the body for its uninterrupted function. But, Mr. Karl Landsteiner, called as the father of transfusion medicine, contributed much in the field of matching blood samples to save human life. However, since the first successful transfusion was done by Richard Lower in 1665, in a dog, the science could not make anything which replaces blood or its components synthetically. There comes the importance of availability of live blood banks to cater the emergency needs of the Country.
The common men have to spent much more in any emergency medical situation requiring blood transfusion. Further, the policy of replacement donor will also cause the patients and bystanders much more difficulty to find a donor in mostly unfamiliar place. Eventhough, blood flows through each and every person in the world without regard to race, financial status, or any other variable but the availability of the same in emergency medical situations are still probabilistic. Blood donation is literally life donation. Giving blood is really very simple, yet less than five percent of the eligible population gives blood regularly.
The requirements are few for blood donors. You must be at least seventeen years old and you must weigh at least one hundred and ten pounds. Voluntary Blood Donation fosters love and unity in a nation. This is because, donating one‟s precious blood is an act of love for mankind, a life-saving venture made by humanitarian individuals and it is worthy of emulation. Blood Donation programmes helps donors to know their health status because of series of test conducted before and after the donations. These tests have helped to eliminate the transfer of infectious diseases from the donors to the beneficiaries. Researches have shown that voluntary blood donation reinvigorates the donor, because, according to Health Secretary of Philippine, Mr. T. Ona, “humans do not lose blood when they give because the giver is refilled with new and fresher blood in no time”. Voluntary Blood Donation programs have curbed HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Hepatitis B & C, Syphilis and other life threatening diseases. For instance, the Pledge 25 Club 25 helps youths ages 18-25 to lead healthy life-styles to protect both themselves and the recipients of their blood. More employment opportunities are provided for medical professionals and graduates in various states to carry out the voluntary blood donation activities. Records have shown that the safest blood donors are voluntary.
Blood donation camps are arranged by Sevabharathi with the active support of Medical College, Sree Chithra and Regional Cancer Centre. Further, the panel of able bodied blood donors, who are ready to donate blood in case of any emergency is the prime asset of the organization in this sector and the initiative could literally created a virtual blood bank for emergency situations. In the last one year, Sevabharathi, Kerala made 15 voluntary blood donation camps at different parts of Thiruvananthapuram and approximately 500 healthy donors made their gift of life through this initiative.