For those in rural India, health care is often inaccessible or, in the rare localities that it is accessible, too expensive for many. TEWFI redressed this issue in the Alamparai district of Tamil Nadu with the establishment of the Uluru Health Care Centre. Since 1998, The Uluru Health Care Centre has run a free primary health care service for more than 26,000 people around Alamparai. The only service of its kind in the region, the Centre is staffed by a doctor and nursing staff from the local area, as well as several community social workers.
Over 26,000 people now have access to medical care of good quality, at a nominal cost. This allows for them to be treated for diseases and conditions for which they would have no other means of treatment. The DOTS treatment for tuberculosis is part of UHCC’s activities, conducted in conjunction with the Tamil Nadu Government. Preventative medicine schemes are run at UHCC. These include early detection of diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, and health messages given by doctors and nurses via various audiovisual aids.
The Uluru Health Care Centre provides a basic service. In the event that further, specialist, attention is required, patients are referred to Pondicherry. This is particularly the case for many of the aged. Twice-weekly trips are made by the Uluru Ambulance from Alamparai to Pondicherry.
The important Post Tsunami Health Care and Research Project (PTHCRP) is also run under the auspices of the UHCC. As well as the basic service, UHCC also provides:
- Mental Health Counselling Services,
- Health Education programmes
Future endeavours for UHCC include:
- Indigenous and traditional medicine
- Infrastructural extensions
- Use of a rural health care software
We also hope, in the future, to employ more doctors and nurses at UHCC, as the demand for health care at the Centre has grown exponentially. In particular, we are in desperate need of a female doctor. Funds are urgently required for their appointment, as they will be able to increase the quality of the medical care we provide, as well as implement health education programs geared to the needs of the villagers.
- A month’s salary for a doctor is Rs.22,000 per month
- A month’s salary for a nurse is Rs.4,000 per month
- All provisions and running costs for the clinic can be met by Rs.3,000 per day
The “wishlist” for the clinic can be found here. Please take a minute to browse this list to see if you or someone you know would be willing to donate these urgently needed goods, resources or skills. Alternatively, you may wish to support this service via donations or volunteering.
The data of the number of patients treated at Uluru Health Care Center is available from July 2005 to May 2011.