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India: access to health care and safe drinking water for people in Chhattisgarh

01-02-2013 Operational Update

The ICRC has been carrying out neutral and impartial humanitarian activities in the state of Chhattisgarh since late 2010. In particular, it has been providing access to health care and safe drinking water for people suffering the effects of violence. The ICRC provides these services strictly on the basis of need.

Primary health care

In Chhattisgarh's Bastar region, the ICRC provides support for two primary health centres in Bijapur* and Sukma district, both of which are run by Chhattisgarh's Department of Health and Family Welfare. It has made two doctors, four nurses and four health educators available to the primary health centre in Kutru, and since July 2012 it has provided similar support for the primary health centre in Chintalnar. It has also enhanced access to health care by operating a mobile health unit in remote villages around Kutru and by regularly transporting patients who require emergency care to district hospitals in the region.

Since October 2010, ICRC-supported medical services have:

  • seen over 65,000 patients in Kutru and Chintalnar, including some 22,000 women and children under the age of five, through the primary health centres and the mobile health unit;
  • attended nearly 100 child births, provided ante-natal care for some 650 women, and treated over 9,000 patients with malaria;
  • taken 300 patients to hospital for emergency treatment;
  • provided health education for over 55,000 villagers;
  • organized first-aid training for over 160 people, including personnel of the state Department of Health and the security forces, Indian Red Cross Society volunteers, and community members.

Safe drinking water

In Chhattisgarh, the ICRC has sought to protect over 15,000 people against water- and hygiene-related diseases since November 2010 by taking the following actions in Bijapur district.

The ICRC:

  • repaired and put back into operation 110 hand pumps in 44 villages;
  • installed solar hand pumps in schools;
  • distributed 740 water filters that remove iron and bacteria to households;
  • provided information on improving personal hygiene and basic protective practices;
  • distributed cleaning and hygiene items in schools and communities.

In addition, the ICRC has:

  • trained Public Health and Engineering Department technicians to repair hand pumps;
  • trained school teachers to teach personal hygiene;
  • provided technical support to the Public Health and Engineering Departments of Bijapur and Bastar for water quality testing.

Physical rehabilitation

The physical rehabilitation centre in Chhattisgarh's capital, Raipur, provides services for the disabled with ICRC technical, logistical and financial support.

Since the opening of the physical rehabilitation centre in March 2012, the ICRC has:

  • provided physical rehabilitation for over 300 patients;
  • fitted prostheses and orthoses and provided wheelchairs for disabled people;
  • ensured that patients referred from remote areas of Chhattisgarh are able to come to the centre;
  • facilitated the training of technicians from the Department of Social Welfare;
  • worked with the Department of Social Welfare to bring together people from across India to Chhattisgarh to address issues concerning the disabled.

Cooperation with the Indian Red Cross Society

The ICRC's cooperation with the Chhattisgarh branch of the Indian Red Cross Society is fundamental to its activities in the state, many of which are carried out jointly with the branch. The ICRC also organizes training to expand the capabilities of Indian Red Cross Society volunteers.
 

*As of June 2013, ICRC activities in Bijapur were halted at the request of the authorities.


Photos

In Jangla village, ICRC staff discuss water- and hygiene-related diseases with a group of women. 

India, Chhattisgarh
In Jangla village, ICRC staff discuss water- and hygiene-related diseases with a group of women.
© ICRC / F. Boher

An ICRC nurse helps with the birth of a child at the primary health centre in Kutru. Persuading women in the area to come to hospital for institutional delivery is a challenge.  

India, Chhattisgarh
An ICRC nurse helps with the birth of a child at the primary health centre in Kutru. Persuading women in the area to come to hospital for institutional delivery is a challenge.
© ICRC / A. Abbhi

Villagers helping the ICRC repair a hand pump in Bijpur district. The ICRC encourages community members to become involved in repair work and to take responsibility for maintenance. 

India, Chhattisgarh
Villagers helping the ICRC repair a hand pump in Bijpur district. The ICRC encourages community members to become involved in repair work and to take responsibility for maintenance.
© ICRC

An ICRC nurse working in the makeshift pharmacy of the mobile health unit in Bijapur district.  

India, Chhattisgarh
An ICRC nurse working in the makeshift pharmacy of the mobile health unit in Bijapur district.
© ICRC / A. Abbhi