Projects - Health
In order to improve overall health conditions, in 2001, a temporary homeopathy treatment center was setup within the Ashram. By 2002, a separate building was constructed, just outside the Ashram, to be used as the clinic and to provide a place to store the medicines. The clinic is staffed by one or two doctors and three assistants (who learned the trade from their parents).
At first, the villagers were not familiar with the concept of receiving medical attention. But as the benefits of health care gained popularity, and with no means of public transportation for people to come to the clinic, additional homeopathy stations were set up, on the verandas of public buildings, in different villages. Currently, there are 9 stations. Each station services anywhere from 10 to 15 villages. The ashram clinic is open twice a week. The doctors and staff then spend three more days a week visiting the various nearby stations.
For this project more than Rs.2000 is needed each week
to pay the medical staff and to buy medicine. As a result, each patient
pays Rs.5 at the first appointment, at which time they are provided with an
identification card. For all
subsequent appointments, they pay Rs.3 as long as they can present the card.
Since most people cannot read or write the identification is usually
marked by a thumbprint. In most
cases the medicine is given free, except when more specialized treatments are
required. In this case the patients might be asked to pay an additional
one or two rupees.
In October of 2002 there was an outbreak of measles in some of the neighboring villages. Although Sister Jessie’s services do not normally extend to these villages, when she was approached for help she had her doctor buy the necessary medication and treat the children free of charge. She covered the costs of the treatment and the doctor.