A paradigm shift in health outreach: the PUKAR and MCGM collaboration
In October 2010, PUKAR was one of 16 health-related NGOs invited to a meeting hosted by Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai’s (MCGM, the city government) top leaders in public health: Manisha Mhaiskar, the Additional Municipal Commissioner for Health, and Dr. Sanjay Oak, Director of Medical Education and Major Hospitals in Mumbai. PUKAR presented data on Kaula Bandar’s disproportionately poor health indicators (especially its remarkably low childhood immunization rates). This initiated a series of meetings with public health officials that eventually resulted in a commitment by the MCGM to allocate bi-monthly health camp outreach to Kaula Bandar.
These health camps are a collaborative effort of MCGM doctors and PUKAR. Barefoot Researchers act as community catalysts and facilitators by going from door to door to recruit community residents to the health camp site, where MCGM doctors provide basic medical evaluation for residents and immunizations for children. PUKAR has also created detailed public education posters regarding immunizations that use a novel pictorial format to reach residents with poor literacy.
Since March 2011, PUKAR and the MCGM have held 12 health camps, immunized more than 591 children, and treated more than 1970 patients and screened 262 people for malaria during the monsoon season! Our goal is to collect data on immunization rates again in a year to measure the improvements that have occurred from these interventions (the health camps, educational posters, and PUKAR outreach). We want Kaula Bandar to have the highest childhood immunization rate in all of Mumbai, and we hope to present this success back to the MCGM as a new model of public-private partnership for improving immunization rates throughout the city and India.
Disclaimer: Please note that while PUKAR assists in community education and recruitment of patients to the MCGM health camp, PUKAR is not involved in the actual delivery of health care at these camps. Specifically, PUKAR is not involved in the medical evaluations or delivery of any medications or injections.