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Americares Upgrades Primary Health Centres as Part of Recovery Efforts in Flood-Affected Kerala

  • April 01, 2019
  • Primary health centre upgraded to Family Health Centre
  • Americares India

Long-Term Recovery

To restore and improve health services for survivors of the devastating August 2018 floods in Kerala, Americares India is donating medical & diagnostic equipment to flood-affected health centres.

In association with the Rural India Supporting Trust (RIST), Americares has upgraded 24 health centres in Alappuzha and Ernakulam districts with a range of essential medical & diagnostic equipment. The donations support the Kerala Government’s Family Health Centre Approach for Universal Health Care, which is transforming primary care health centres to Family Health Centres. Each of the transformed Family Health Centres will serve as a first-level health delivery point, through state-of-the-art investigation and intervention protocols.

A Family Health Centre provides universal (whether patient approaches an institution or not) and comprehensive (promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative) health services to strengthen the health care system.

Upgrades of Family Health Centres are part of Americares India’s emergency response and recovery programs following the historic floods in Kerala. With support from donors, Americares India will upgrade over 65 damaged health centres across seven districts in Kerala. The upgrades will be part of the ‘Ayushman Bharat – Family & Wellness Centres’ under the ‘Ayushman Bharat’ national program announced by the Hon. Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi.

Major floods and landslides in Kerala, during the monsoon of 2018, caused permanent damage to health equipment, assets and overall health facilities, leading to diminished services, reduced efficiency and placing a huge burden on the health system going forward. Kerala is known for its network of effective local health centres, engaging with the community to achieve better health outcomes. 

In addition to health centre upgrades, Americares India is also focusing on two other key areas of intervention in conjunction with the state government:

1. Mother & Child Nutrition

A vulnerable population of lactating mothers & children is at risk of compromised nutrition that can have long-term impact on the growth of babies. Americares is working with the government to provide nutritional support to 11,000 mothers & children in the worst affected districts of the state.

This is being done in a program identifying the mothers at risk through the ASHA (health worker) network and reaching out to them through health education & product support.

2. Mental Health Program

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorders and other mental health issues are common after such large-scale disasters. Kerala has a high burden of people facing mental health issues, including senior citizens and individuals suffering from alcoholism who need support post-disaster.

The state of Kerala is undertaking a large-scale program spanning over one year, collaborating among health centres, counsellors, ASHA and communities to identify individuals with mental health issues and connect them to health centres for treatment.

Americares is supporting the training & capacity building of the counsellors and ASHA, in 325 panchayats as part of this field-based program to strengthen the mental health management and capacity within the state.

 


 Health Camp in Kerala treating patients after floods

Early Response to the Disaster

More than 8,500 individuals received primary care at the health camps conducted by Americares and our partners across the state. Americares donated medicines and supplies worth more than Rs. 50 Mio to bridge the medical supply gaps. We donated 2 Mio chlorine tablets to ensure access to safe drinking water to communities. To prevent the potential outbreak of Leptospirosis (rat fever), Americares donated 5 Lac tablets of Doxycycline.  We have donated vital safety gear to protect the cleaning staff from injuries and infection as they cleared the post-flood debris.  

Interim Relief

As families returned to their ravaged homes, we helped them maintain health and hygiene by providing access to safe drinking water, hygiene & cleaning products, shelter support and baby care products. More than 12,000 families benefited through the family relief support we were able to make available.