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Essar Foundation launches mobile medical service near Paradip

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Essar Foundation in association with NGO HelpAge India commemorate Republic Day with the launch of health services.

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In line with the policy to provide healthcare services to the community around our facilities, Essar Foundation has started a Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) in the villages around Paradip, Odisha, where Essar Steel is setting up a 12-MTPA pellet plant.

On the occasion of Republic Day, the Essar Foundation has started the MMU service in collaboration with the HelpAge India, a nationally renowned secular and non-profit organization working across the country.

The project was jointly launched by the Head of CSR of Essar Foundation – Mr Deepak Arora and Director of Health Services, HelpAge India, Mr Georgy Varghese, at Paradip today at a function organized on the plant premises of Essar Steel.

The MMU will provide healthcare facilities to the people of the nearby three gram panchayats (village administrations) which are Bhutmundai, Nuagarh and Paradeepgarh – all located in Kujanga block of Jagatsinghpur district.

Speaking after inaugurating the MMU, Mr Arora said that this project would be highly beneficial for enhancing community wellbeing as a whole and will bring several health services under a single umbrella. Mr. Varghese said, "We are happy that Essar has taken the initiative to provide healthcare services in the rural areas. HelpAge India with its long experience in operating and managing MMUs in the country will surely be able utilise this facility to address the basic health needs of underprivileged and excluded sections in the community while focusing on the whole population of these villages."

Adding his remarks on the launch of the MMU, Mr PK Gupta, the Head of the Paradip complex of Essar Steel, said, "As a policy, we remain committed to bring healthcare services to villages around our plant. MMU services are part of this initiative. We seek to intensify our efforts in the coming days."

Through this MMU model, each of the 16 villages falling under the three gram panchayats will be consistently visited by the HelpAge India health service team during the next five years. People will congregate at a given location near their respective villages at a specified time in order to avail free medical consultation and medicines.

The team of HelpAge India consists of a medical doctor, a community health mobilizer, a pharmacist and a social protection officer. The team will not only provide curative medical services but will also raise public awareness on preventive and promotive aspects through awareness generation and multi-disciplinary medical camps, etc. For doing all these, HelpAge India and Essar Foundation will seek support from other specialized agencies such as the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), Indian Medical Association (IMA), etc.

Apart from this, HelpAge India will conduct special programmes for elderly people in order to promote the concept of active aging, addressing issues of isolation and neglect among the elderly and age-related disorders such as dementia, arthritis, cataract, osteoporosis, diabetes, hypertension and Alzheimer's disease. Integrating needy elderly persons with various social protection schemes implemented by the government will also be high on the agenda of HelpAge India.

The news of launching of this project has brought a lot of enthusiasm among the local people, especially elderly persons, as they will receive many basic and primary medical services including competent medical advice at a place which is close to their homes and village. This healthcare delivery model assumes further significance when healthcare costs are on the rise and doctors are not available in rural areas. People of villages like Handia, Nuagarh, Paradeepgarh, Balidia, Chakradharpur, Pipal and Bheemanasi have greeted the MMU on this occasion when the mobile unit visited their respective villages announcing the launch of its services on this Republic Day.

Essar Foundation will provide continuous support during the next five years to this project being implemented by HelpAge India in order to create maximum impact on the health and wellbeing of people near the upcoming Pellet Plant with a production capacity of 12 million tonnes established very close to the Paradip town of Jagatsinghpur district of Odisha.

Prior to the launching of the MMU project HelpAge India has conducted a baseline survey in 6,266 households of the three focus villages in order to understand the health needs and priorities of all sections people – children, women, youth and the elderly.

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