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Health Centre

Suhalaya Health Centre - Katchur

Background :
Like many of Share and Care’s programmes, the Suhalaya Health Centre moved from a slum in Chennai (Mangalapuram) to Katchur in 1990 after 2 years of operation. Although in Katchur and surrounding villages there was already a government health centre, it had restricted hours that were inconvenient for the local working population. As a result, many of the villagers were unable to see the doctor there. Suhalaya, with its extended and more flexible hours, fills the need to care for pregnant women, children in school, and male labourers or farmers.

Share and Care’s Role :
Housed in Share and Care’s campus in Katchur, Suhalaya Health Centre caters not only Share and Care’s children, but also to all the poor people of scheduled tribes and castes who are now able to have a quality of health care they had never had before. Like the government health centre, the doctor has limited hours. But unlike the government centre, the Suhalaya Health Centre itself is always open, manned by a multi-purpose staff. Moreover, if there is a need, the doctor will attend to a patient outside of regular hours.

Most injuries treated at the Health Centre are rural in nature: snake, scorpion, and dog bites are common. However, more ‘global’ diseases like tuberculosis, asthma, allergies, gastro enteritis, skin infections, infectious diseases, chicken pox, jaundice, and measles are also cared for. Occasionally a pregnant mother arrives toward the end of labour.

Share and Care staff brings them to the nearest government hospital and stays with them until the child is delivered. Every effort is made to ensure the mother’s comfort. Share and Care has a very good reputation at local hospitals for transporting delivering mothers.

Elderly patients are given special consideration at Suhalaya. If anyone becomes very ill and/or dehydrated, someone from the staff goes to the home with IV drips. If more attention is required, the patient is brought to the Health Centre during the day so staff can take care of them, and at night they are transferred back home.

The impact of Suhalaya Health Centre on the local community includes more than the valuable contribution of being able to have good and timely medical intervention. Because villagers come to the Katchur campus of Share and Care, they get to know that there is a good school, caring staff, and an NGO that is devoted to local development. This instills trust, and many villagers have been influenced to bring their infants to the crèche, their children to the school, and to pay better attention to their own health and educational needs.

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