Aim to facilitate and supplement the existing healthcare facilities, with special focus on health education

French non-governmental organisation Doctors of the World (Medecins du Monde) has tied up with the Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI) to provide health care facility and awareness in Bhawanipatna in Orissa.

Talking to reporters here on Wednesday, Pierre Micheletti, former president of Medecins du Monde (MDM) said the aim is to facilitate and supplement the existing healthcare facilities, with special focus on health education. “We do not want to duplicate what the government is doing but support the existing facilities in Bhawantipatna,” Dr. Micheletti said, adding that the State was chosen as the VHAI has been working there for several years.

Explaining the rationale behind providing its services in India, Dr. Micheletti said that the organisation was interested in learning from the Indian civil society groups, and possibly replicating its experiences in other developing countries. “India being a vibrant democracy with a huge human resource, it has the potential to train people who can then provide services in other parts of the world,” he said. Also, India being a producer of generic medicines and because a civil society culture is already in existence, it would be easy for the Doctors of the World to provide humanitarian aid in the field of healthcare.

Promoting healthcare

The organisation has been running a project in 10 slums of Jaipur since 2007 in collaboration with a local non-governmental organisation to promote maternal and child healthcare. The three-year project in Orissa will focus on malaria and Tuberculosis as the region is prone to these diseases. However, the larger aim of Dr. Micheletti is to “de-Westernise the humanitarian movement.” Non-governmental humanitarian aid is mostly dominated by the Western model of organisation, funding and operational visibility which may or may not be successful in developing countries, he said. They are now looking for partners and allies outside the Western countries.