Bhubaneswar: Aster DM Healthcare, one of the leading private healthcare providers in India and the Middle East announced that it is providing a free ambulance service that will enable people from the district of Gajapati in Odisha to access government healthcare facilities. The ambulance service will serve more than 5 lakh people in the district. The service was launched at a function held at Jubo Panchayat Headquarters by the local MLA Ms. Basanti Mallick in the presence of the Jubo Panchayat (Sarpanch) Mrs. Suloth Raito. The ambulance initiative has been launched in collaboration with SWAD, a local NGO. As part of this exercise, Aster DM Foundation and ‘Aster Volunteers’ programme have come forward to provide much needed medical aid and support to this district in the form of a free comprehensive medical check-up camp including free ECG and Echocardiography. 356 people from tribal pockets in the district underwent checks ups at this specially conducted medical camp.
Specialist doctors, technicians and other para-medical staff traveled from Aster’s Ramesh Hospitals in Vijayawada and Gantur facilities to be a part of this comprehensive medical camp. They were joined by volunteers from Aster DM Foundation in Kochi, Aster DM Healthcare, Dubai and worked closely with the local NGO as well as government bodies to support this camp in providing quality healthcare in this remote district of Odisha.
Speaking about the service Dr. Azad Moopen, Chairman and Managing Director, Aster DM Healthcare said, “More than 60% of the people in the Gajapati district are unable to access Primary and Community Healthcare facilities due to lack of infrastructure facilities and public transport. Poor accessibility is one of the main causes for the district having over 75% incidence of childbirth at home. We hope that the people will be able to use the ambulance and are able to get medical treatment on time. At Aster we are committed to effect a positive difference in society and extend a helping hand to the less fortunate. Aster DM Foundation and Aster Volunteers’ programme have been actively involved in such programmes across geographies and we look forward to working closely with the local authorities as well as social organizations in this region, to build a sustainable healthcare model that will go a long way in improving the quality of life.’’
Currently, accessibility to the Primary Healthcare Centre as well as the Community Healthcare Centre is difficult as the centres are located in the Block Headquarters and villagers who are mostly tribes are living in the forest areas where there are no roads or transportation facilities. Moreover, the geography of the district is mainly hilly and population is scattered in 896 inhabited villages. The nearest hospital for the villagers to get Tertiary Healthcare is the medical college at Berhampur which is 150 kilometers away from the district and takes between three and four hours to reach. The villagers have to often avail of expensive private ambulance services from Berhampur in the case of emergency.
“We are grateful to the gesture shown by Aster DM Foundation to address the gap and partner to work with this mission” said Fr.Joseph Valiyaparambil, Director of Society for Welfare, Animation and Development (SWAD) in Odisha.