Swasthya Swaraj Society aims at making health and education a reality for the poorest and the unreached.
By Surbhi Jain
Bengaluru, Jan. 24, 2019.
Started by Dr. Aquinas Edasserya at St. John’s Hospital, Bengaluru, Swasthya Swaraj Society (SSS), is a secular non-profit organization, that is involved in setting up model community health programmes in tribal areas across the country.
Edasserya is the first to receive the award for the Forum for Medical Ethics Society – Indian Journal of Medical Ethics Award for ethical practice in healthcare; she travelled to different places of the Kalahandi district to provide health facilities to the tribal people of the Thuamul Rampur Block.
Each health centre established by the SSS has a team of five doctors with the aim to provide healthcare to people from more than 150 villages in the area. According to an SSS official, “We work in an area where the maternal mortality rate is enormously high with the under-five child mortality rate of 284 per 1,000 live births. Even malaria during pregnancy is up to 27-32 percent, which leads to complications and birth of babies with low weight .”
According to an SSS official, “We work in an area where the maternal mortality rate is enormously high with the under-five child mortality rate of 284 per 1,000 live births. Even malaria during pregnancy is up to 27-32 percent, which leads to complications and birth of babies with low weight .”
“We aim to provide healthcare to pregnant ladies and children under the age of five who face trouble walking long distances to reach our health centres. Therefore, we have set up regular extension clinics targeting them. These clinics are known as ANC-U5 clinics. SSS has also formed Gaon Poshana Gharos which are village nutrition centres that run with the help of community nurses, known as Swasthya Sathis.
Shubham Sabhrewal, a medical student from College of Medicine and Sagar Dutta Hospital, in Kolkata said. “This is a terrific initiative taken by Dr Aquinas Edasserya. The tribes of our country suffer massively and it is really important for our nation to provide them with better health facilities. Dr Edasserya is the first to take this step forward to help out the tribes of Orissa.”
Psychologist Diva Kannan mentioned, “SSS has come up with the best of the ideas to help the poor. In fact, training women from the village, where 90 percent are illiterate, SSS are turning these women into Swathya Sathis in each village which is of enormous help villages where healthcare facility is scarce.”
SSS has also formed TULSI, an empowerment programme for adolescent girls through which Education and training sessions are held to improve their knowledge about reproductive health. The major objective of this initiative is to create awareness and change of attitudes and practices towards reproductive health.