India: Access to health care and safe drinking water for people in Chhattisgarh
01-05-2014 Operational Update
After over 30 months of making health care and safe drinking water available to people affected by violence, the ICRC halted its activities in Chhattisgarh at the end of 2013 at the request of the authorities.
Primary health care
In Chhattisgarh's Bastar region, the ICRC provided 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. The ICRC made two doctors, four nurses and four health educators available to the primary health centre in Kutru, and in July 2012 extended similar support to the primary health centre in Chintalnar. It also helped enhance access to health care by operating a mobile health unit in remote villages around Kutru and by regularly taking patients who required emergency care to district hospitals.
Between October 2010 and June 2013, the ICRC-supported medical services:
- saw 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;
- took 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
Between November 2010 and June 2013 the ICRC sought to protect over 15,000 people against water- and hygiene-related diseases in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh, by taking up the following activities:
- 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:
- trained Public Health and Engineering Department (PHED) technicians to repair hand pumps;
- trained school teachers to teach personal hygiene;
- provided technical support to the PHEDs of Bijapur and Bastar for water quality testing.
The physical rehabilitation centre in Chhattisgarh's capital, Raipur, provides services for the disabled through the Department of Social Welfare (DSW) with clinical, technical and managerial support provided by the ICRC.
After the opening of the physical rehabilitation centre in March 2012, the ICRC provided services for over 900 patients. It undertook the following activities:
- fitted prostheses and orthoses and provided wheelchairs for disabled people;
- supported the activities of the DSW through its outreach programmes and health camps to help meet the needs of people from other districts;
- ensured that patients referred from remote areas of Chhattisgarh were able to come to the centre;
- facilitated the training of technicians from the DSW;
- worked with the DSW to bring together people from across India to Chhattisgarh to address issues concerning the disabled.
Cooperation with the Indian Red Cross Society
Many of the ICRC's activities in Chhattisgarh were carried out jointly with the Chhattisgarh branch of the Indian Red Cross. The ICRC also organized training programmes to expand the capabilities of Indian Red Cross volunteers.