Improving health infrastructure in Coimbatore during pandemic

Community kitchen at a tribal hamlet in Coimbatore   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Over 20 primary health centres in Coimbatore and Tiruppur have been upgraded with medical equipment and other services such as free ambulance as a part of relief measures offered by the Native Medicare Charitable Trust (NMCT) along with Royal Enfield.

“We will support 29 primary health centres in Coimbatore and Tirupur and one Government Hospital at Valparai along with our funding partner. The total project value is ₹1.5 crore including materials, operation and administration expenses,” says A S Sankaranarayanan, founder and director of NMCT, a 32-year-old organisation that works for the social and economic development of the marginalised, remote tribes, migrant workers, and people living with HIV / AIDS.

During the pandemic, the NMCT had approached hospitals and PHCs in Coimbatore and Tirupur districts to help them upgrade their treatment facilities. “We have currently undertaken three projects with the support of a few corporates. This includes upgrading medical facilities by providing medical equipment such as oxygen concentrators, hematology analyzer, and scanner as well as safety supplies such as PPE kits, O2 masks and gloves,” says B Keerthivasan, consultant.

NMCT mobilised contributions from its funding partners and corporate partners, and distributed grocery aid kits worth ₹2.36 crore to 12,500 needy families. “We also conducted community kitchens in remote tribal villages and mobilised cash contributions of ₹49 lakh and supported families through bank transfer and gave PPE kits worth ₹6 lakh to over 1,000 frontline workers.”

A class in progress at a tribal hamlet

A class in progress at a tribal hamlet   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Several other NGOs like the Adi Tribal Federation formed by the tribal people also set up a community kitchen and catered to seven tribal villages in Athikadavu area of Coimbatore. “It benefited around 400 families as some of the villages are located at remote locations and others are on the Tamil Nadu — Kerala border,” says T. Lakshmanan, facilitator of the federation that also provides a platform for tribal self-help groups to sell their products besides working towards educating tribal children.

Sandhippom Positive Welfare Society, a support group that works with 500 people living with HIV in Coimbatore, Tiruppur and Pollachi reached out with grocery kits and financial assistance to over 200 persons. “We got the crucial anti-retro viral therapy medicines from the centres in the city and delivered it at their homes.”

Santhippom supports income generation for the SHGs formed by the members. “We give counselling, self-care training, and support education of the children of the members through trusts like Pachaippa Foundation in Pollachi and Subiksham Charitable Trust,” says D. Selvadevan, project manager. “We also link the members to other government welfare schemes through District AIDS Control Unit that comes under the Tamil Nadu AIDS Control Society.”

During the second wave, NMCT provided medical equipment and consumables to the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital, primary health centres and three COVID-19 care centres at CODISSIA, Bharathiar University and Karunya worth ₹56 lakh.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 10:18:05 AM |

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