Asha Healthcare Service

Project Brief: To provide healthcare support services to those members of society who would not be able to procure such life-saving services on their own.
Project Type: Other (description)
Primary Focus: health and cleanliness (description)

Secondary Focus: children of dalits/tribals

Area: Urban
Supporting Chapter Contact: Lucknow
Status: Proposal - Closed
Project Steward: Sandeep Pandey
Project Partner(s): Manish Kumar
Other Contacts: Shobha Shukla
Project Address: , A-893 Indira Nagar,,Lucknow,
Tel: 0522-2342435
Stewarding Chapter: Lucknow

Total = $0

Clearly describe the need for the project or your work:

Healthcare is a basic human need. However, poorer sections of society often do not have access to adequate preventive or prescriptive healthcare for a variety of reasons. Consequently, a major medical event in a poor family can cause serious devastation, especially if the individual who falls ill is the bread-winner in the family. These poorer sections of society are deprived of access to healthcare services for a variety of reasons: (1) they are not knowledgeable enough to navigate the healthcare system, (2) have no familial support, or (3) do not have money for treatment. Even if they do have these three things, often times they will have to take out loans which can plunge the family deeper into poverty – and may prevent them from ever recovering. In Lucknow and the surrounding areas, there are many such people who face these issues. Manish has been a strong and efficient advocate of these people for the past year and has earned respect from not only the patients, but also the physicians, nurses, and government officers who bring needy patients to Manish.

Clearly describe the proposed solution:

There are three major reasons why these people do not have access to healthcare services, and Manish’s work addresses each of these three reasons:

(1) Inadequate knowledge of the healthcare system: Manish over the past year has built a network of physicians, nurses, and doctors who provide a support structure for this work. This network includes physicians who will treat patients for free or at minimal costs, as well as individuals who provide medication to Manish for these patients at minimal or no cost. Over the past year, he has developed a strong knowledge of healthcare procedures such as lab tests and the most common medications for the type of patients who need his help (burn victims, mental patients, etc.) Furthermore, Manish has a very strong knowledge of where to get what and has become extremely efficient in getting the necessary materials and services for a patient with a given ailment.

(2) Little or no familial support: In addition to getting medications, lab tests, and a place in the hospital, Manish helps find families of destitute patients, and if no family member can be found, he provides them with support throughout their stay in the healthcare system, brings them food, and then if necessary finds them shelter in government facilities.

(3) Little or no financial resources for healthcare expenses: Because of Manish’s long relationship with Asha as a Volunteer, financial resources for more expensive medical treatments can be procured if necessary. Furthermore, Manish has built up a strong set of local donors who will either help him financially or with medical supplies for the patients.

The expected impact:

There are several a clear and positive impacts of Manish’s work:

(1) The 10-20 patients that Manish helps per month either do not die or do not end up with life-long disabilities which results in many spill-over effects for the families and communities.
(2) Awareness about these patients in both the local community as well as members of the healthcare system will be raised, which will improve the provision of healthcare to these people.

Describe any innovative ideas & approach:

The idea of a healthcare advocate which will help poor patients navigate the system is in itself very innovative. Manish has other ideas for keeping a cabinet in each of the wards of the medical college hospital in Lucknow, which will store the most utilized medications and products for the patients he helps treat. This will make treatment more efficient and will ensure that even if Manish is not there at that moment, the nurses or doctors can take the medication out of the cabinet when a patient who does not have the resources needs treatment.

Clearly describe why you will succeed:

1. Manish’s work has been running for over a year, and his involvement in healthcare activities has been going on for some time now – resulting in many lives saved, including those of Asha volunteers such as Laxmi Narayan.
2. Manish is a extremely trustworthy and financially conservative volunteer (which allows him to make use of his resources in the best possible way) with a proven track-record of good work with Asha.
3. There is significant and natural demand for his services and a strong network of support from the healthcare community in Lucknow, especially at the Medical College.

What activites will be undertaken for the project:

• Help needy patients navigate the healthcare system
• Provide support during their sickness
• Procure necessary funds and supplies for the patient so they do not go into perpetual debt

How will the impact of the work be measured (data collection, interviews, etc.):

• Manish has already been keeping an immaculate record of the patients he has been helping. This record includes the patient’s name, their illness, the tests ordered, the procedures performed, the medications purchased, and when and where the patient was treated.
• Manish also keeps extremely detailed and in my view a very honest financial record of his expenditures for all his activities including petrol, bus, medications, tests, and other expenditures incurred for his work.

In summary the role of the project is:

• Help needy patients navigate the healthcare system
• Provide support during their sickness
• Procure necessary funds and supplies for the patient so they do not go into perpetual debt
Asha Lalpur/Lucknow chapter volunteers run this healthcare activity in collboartion with the lucknow government medical college and police department. A board of directors oversees the work of Manish and other volunteers.