Boat Clinics reach out to more districts

The Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research(C-NES) -National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) partnership’s health initiative, has been extended to cover the districts of Jorhat, North Lakhimpur, Sonitpur, Nalbari and Barpeta. The inaugural camps which witnessed a huge turn out even from the neighbouring villages in all the districts were held simultaneously on 16 March at Lakhimpur and Barpeta, at Nalbari on 18 March, Jorhat on 23 March and at Sonitpur on 24 March 2009. The earlier districts where the Boat Clinics have been operating are Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Dhemaji, Morigaon and Dhubri.

“The new districts will join the others where we are running the boat clinics to bring sustained health care to lakhs of socially and geographically excluded island dwellers on the Brahmaputra, especially women and children for the first time in their lives, and to reach one third of the flood-vulnerable population of the state by 2010” said C-NES Managing Trustee Sanjoy Hazarika.

The inaugural camps had over 1000 patients registering for general check ups along with immunization of children and pregnant women. At Lakhimpur’s Kankan sapori, Galung Pegu, the village headman was pleased to see the Boat Clinic. “This is the first ever such health intervention here and my community will give full support to the health team” he assured the team members while Biju Doley a teacher at the Moroliamukh LP school added” I have yet to come across this kind of turn out” referring to the large number of people who had come from long distances to attend the camp held in the school campus.

C-NES has been providing basic health care services, through specially designed boats equipped with laboratories on board as well as pharmacies, to these river islands – through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with NRHM, Government of Assam since 2008. On board also are fully fledged medical teams (two doctors, three nurses as well as lab technicians and pharmacists) which conduct regular camps organized through a network of community health workers and organizers in the district.

It may be mentioned that as part of its golden jubilee celebrations this year, Oil India Limited (OIL) has donated Rs. 10 lakhs to C-NES to support its boat clinic initiative in Assam.

For further details, contact:

Bhaswati Goswami
Communications Officer
C-NES
“Illashree”
House # 9
Byelane # 2
Rajgarh Road , Guwahati 3
Phones- 0361-2463962/2465330

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  • Photos from the field:

    Budding artist at work and in the foreground Sanjoy Hazarika talks to a TV journalist.jpg The newly recruited C-NES Boat Clinic members  at the meet. Medical Officers of the Dibrugarh Boat clinic conducting a routine monthly health camp at Aichung sapori, of Dibrugrah where UNICEF shot a documentary film capturing a health camp in progress. dscn0455