Through our healthcare programmes, HOPE brings health services and practical health advice to needy communities in Kolkata. Improving the health of street connected children and families living in the slums of Kolkata is one of The Hope Foundation’s priorities, and is key in the fight against poverty. Healthy children, who become healthy adults, create better lives for themselves and their families.
Through our healthcare programme, we have made significant progress in immunization, water sanitation and ante-natal and post-natal care, saving the lives of thousands of infants and their mothers. We also provide emergency care and surgeries in our HOPE Hospital. Our aim at HOPE is to provide ancillary services to strengthen the existing health services that are provided by the Government of West Bengal. Over the past decade we’ve developed strong partnerships with local non-governmental organizations, and work together delivering services in 35 slum communities.
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- HOPE Hospital – 36 bedded hospital for Below Poverty Line individuals, including surgery theatre, ICU, Pharmacy and Diagnostic departments
- Blindness Eradication Programme
- Night Round Medical Ambulance
- Iswar Sankalpa – Community based care for the homeless & mentally ill
- HIVE Emergency Response Unit
- Community Health Education Events
- ICDS Centre Support – providing support to ICDS centres located in slum areas to cater to the educational, health, hygiene and nutritional needs of children below 6 years of age
HOPE Hospital offers medical treatment to underprivileged people living below the poverty-line, who would otherwise be deprived of necessary medical treatment. This is achieved via the following strategic objectives:
- Ensure homeless, street and slum dwelling individual’s rights to secondary healthcare without undue financial burden
- Provide specialist care for in-patients/out-patients
- Provide affordable surgery for homeless, street and slum dwellers
- Provide rehabilitation to homeless children and elderly people after treatment in HOPE Hospital
The Hospital, established in 2008, works closely with eighty-five local charities operating in Kolkata and its surrounding districts. It provides quality medical treatment in its in-patients department with an ICU, out-patients department, diagnostics centre & surgical departments as well as through its pharmacy.
HOPE Hospital is registered with the Health & Family Welfare Department, Government of West Bengal and is fully compliant with ‘The West Bengal Clinical Establishment Rules, 2003’and as such, linked with the National Urban Health Mission (NUHM) under the National Health Mission.
Initially starting with just 5 doctors and 10 staff in a Polyclinic & Diagnostic centre (X-Ray & Pathology) in 2008, the Hospital has grown to now employ 60 staff and 40 panelled doctors. During the period April 2017 – March 2018, a total of 11,145 patients were provided with treatment. Out of 1,263 in-patients, more than half received treatment at a subsidised rate; 457 were referred by other NGOs and 168 by HOPE’s Projects & Partner Organizations. 726 surgeries were performed and 420 immunisations carried out.
Services and Facilities provided:
Intensive Care Unit: consists of 4 beds in separate chambers, and is fully equipped with lifesaving equipment.
In-patient Department: 32 beds in two male and female wards, with priority always given to children.
Out-patient Department: caters to both above and below poverty-line patients and has a central role in the Hospital. The consultant doctors provide referral for patients from below poverty-line households to the In-patient Department, order their required tests, diagnose and also arrange for any surgery and after care needed. Specialized doctors are available in General medicine, Paediatrics, Ophthalmology, ENT, Orthopaedic, Nephrology, Gynaecology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Psychiatry & Psychology, Neurology, Urology, Dental surgery, Neuro-medicine as well as Physiotherapy.
Diagnostics Centre: Testing includes Pathology, X-Ray, Cardiology and Ultra-Sonography Departments.
General Surgical Department: caters to both in-patients and out-patients and is equipped with instrumentation provided by the sponsorship of generous Donors.The Eye Surgery Department was established in 2016 and carries out cataract and other eye surgeries.
HOPE Pharmacy: Established in June 2014; in-patients can now buy medicines at retail prices; out-patients and local customers also help generate funds.
HOPE’s Blindness Eradication Programme, launched in 2016, runs in Kolkata and surrounding villages of West Bengal. Vitamin A deficiency and malnutrition are major causes of corneal scarring among children and underprivileged adults in Kolkata, resulting in many becoming blind. Specsavers Ireland has supported HOPE to continue to roll out our Blindness Eradication Programme across street and slum communities and schools through community based camps and special eye clinics in HOPE Hospital in Kolkata.
The project is for Below Poverty Line individuals who are living in street and slum communities and have no access to affordable or quality healthcare. It works to increase awareness of eye health and the need for check-ups, provide eye-screening and check-up camps for schools and communities, and provides treatment for any defects in HOPE Hospital.
With Specsaver’s support, HOPE can provide high quality, sustainable eye care through primary, secondary and tertiary treatment. Such treatments reduce corneal scarring, visual loss from vitamin A deficiency and measles and other preventable causes. Those requiring further support are provided with glasses by the project or are taken to HOPE’s Hospital where they can undergo surgery in the hospital’s dedicated Eye-Surgery theatre.
HOPE’s Night Round Mobile Medical Service was launched in April 2017. The Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance patrols high risk areas six nights every week over a period of four hours, and provides immediate medical treatment for destitute women and children in crisis and dangerous situations on the streets.
In emergency cases, clients are immediately admitted to HOPE Hospital. In crucial cases, clients are taken to HOPE’s short-stay Crisis Intervention Centres or Mother and Child Care Unit, and appropriate authorities contacted for their transfer to residential protection homes. Child Line is contacted if any child is found on the streets in need of rescue.
Apart from medical treatment, free medical check-ups and free medicine are provided to street dwelling communities during the night hours.
The Naya Duar programme of Iswar Sankalpa, which began in 2007, reaches out to Kolkata’s forgotten and destitute individuals, providing enhanced care and treatment for homeless persons with psycho-social disabilities who are living on the streets of Kolkata. The project works in 141 wards under the Kolkata Municipal Corporation to identify patients who are Homeless and suffering with mental health conditions. Through a referral network, the organization aims to restore patients back to their homes (where appropriate) or provide shelter, appropriate care and treatment.
Awareness programmes involving different stakeholders in the community are organised to address the homeless mentally ill. Our Outreach Programme on the streets of Kolkata has been identified as a unique pathway of care involving the police, government hospitals, street vendors and the community around the street where homeless mentally ill have created a space for themselves.
The project has generated awareness in the community about mental health related issues and the needs of homeless mentally ill persons. Linkages between local community members, Government officials, the local police and other stakeholders have been developed after stakeholders to evolve strategies to help such vulnerable persons and start a simple Drop-In Centre where food is distributed every weekday.
HOPE and HIVE (one of our NGO partners) work in partnership to deliver a 24 hour, 7 days a week response unit of social workers, who respond immediately to those in need.
The Unit attends to victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, human rights violations and medical needs. The Unit particularly focuses on those most vulnerable throughout Kolkata’s streets, its street dwelling children and women. Where possible and appropriate, the Unit reunites individuals with their families, assists below poverty-line families to access medical care and through strong referral networks, places at-risk individuals into appropriate shelters and homes.
The Unit also receives calls from the Kolkata Police and Fire Department, to respond to crises calls throughout the city, particularly road accidents, which are common among street dwellers.
HOPE provides support to ICDS centres located in slum areas to cater to the educational, health, hygiene and nutritional needs of children below 6 years of age.
The vision of HOPE is to ‘change the trajectory of a child’s life at the earliest possible point’, intervene when it’s least expensive and most effective, and do it in a way that promotes optimal child development and that will support parents’ involvement in their child’s education and health.
Children aged up to 6 years will be enrolled in the Centres; of these, children will also receive quality pre-primary education in a child centric and learning environment. The children will gain improved knowledge on writing readiness, reading readiness, number readiness, social skills and motor skills.
HOPE workers will intervene to assist Anganwadi (ICDS) workers and helpers to ensure improved hygiene practices and good health status of the children. Once the children reach the age of 6 years, they will be enrolled in formal schools. The project also seeks to ensure zero dropout rates once the children are enrolled in school.
The ICDS buildings are presently in a dilapidated state and need extensive development to make them usable and attractive to the children and community. They will be developed to reproduce the Model ICDS as suggested under Government guidelines. Child-centric lesson plans and Teaching Learning materials will be developed in collaboration with the Anganwadi worker and helpers. HOPE staff will ensure that the Anganwadi staff employ Activity Based Learning for the children to have the full benefits of Joyful Learning.
The objectives of the programmes are to ensure access to an optimal learning environment, and to provide health and nutritional awareness to community stakeholders. The proposal also strives towards community ownership through participatory methods which offer an opportunity for parents and other stakeholders to interact and become involved in the project implementation and decision-making associated with their child’s education and mainstreaming.
A fundamental component of the proposed project is the advocacy and strengthening of the Government run ICDS centres, and the creation of model ICDS centres which will work to deliver the highest level of quality and effectiveness of services. These model centres will be replicated across the city, for long-term sustainability, in which the responsibility of service delivery is placed back on the Government of India.
HOPE’s Community Health Care Programme operated between 2007 and 2018 in 35 slum areas of Kolkata to provide healthcare treatment and access to below poverty line individuals and communities. Find out more about this programme here.