Healthcare

Asha’s Healthcare Program for Delhi, India Slum Dwellers  

Healthcare Delivery Challenges for Slum Dwellers

India’s underprivileged continue to have poor access to the basic social determinants of good health, as well as to government treatment resources during illness.

A significant challenge to implementing preventive and primary health care is distributing health care equally to everyone; rural and urban slum dwellers are most lacking in access to health care.

India is experiencing diseases found in both developing and developed nations. In addition to the communicable (malaria, TB, HIV/AIDS) and non-communicable diseases of poverty such as anemia, and malnutrition in pregnant women and children, it is fast matching rates found in developed nations of diabetes, coronary heart disease and hypertension, the result of sedentary lifestyles, poor diets, and obesity. Barriers to treatment include drug shortages, distance from governmental facilities , and loss of wages while waiting for care.

There is a direct link between poverty and ill health
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Asha’s Healthcare Model for Slum Dwellers

Asha has a 3-tiered model for delivering healthcare services.

Level 1
Women who live and work in the slums are trained as Community Health Volunteers (CHVs). They regularly visit and monitor the health of people in their communities, particularly pregnant women, pre-school children, the elderly and patients with serious health problems.

Level 2
Asha’s doctors, nurses, and paramedic staff serve residents in clinics located in slum centers. They also have access to the mobile Asha Polyclinic, equipped with a sophisticated laboratory, X-ray, ECG, ultrasound, and other diagnostic facilities.

Level 3 
Patients from slum communities are referred to reputable Delhi public and private hospitals in Asha’s network where they are provided with best-practice care.

Slum dwellers are vulnerable to the effects of disease, poverty and despair
Slum dwellers are vulnerable to the effects of disease, poverty and despair

Asha’s Healthcare Interventions across the slums

Each of Asha’s healthcare programs can be viewed in detail on the relevant website pages. Asha’s Healthcare programs include: 

  • Maternal and Newborn Healthcare Program Provides antenatal, natal and post-natal care.
  • Child Healthcare Program Provides weekly Well Baby clinics and immunization for children from 0-5 years as per the WHO protocol against 10 preventable diseases.
  • Special Clinics for Malnourishment and Anemia Holds clinics for malnourished women and children.
  • Reproductive Health Delivers comprehensive reproductive healthcare across its project area.
  • Family Planning Services Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) disseminate information to women and couples about their right to space their children and plan families.
  • Infertility and Gynecological Disorders Provides services including infertility workup and treatment.
  • Menstrual Health and Hygiene Focuses on safe and effective menstrual hygiene management.
  • Geriatric Clinics Provides medical check-ups, medicines and supplements, glasses and hearing aids and food.
  • Asha’s Chronic Non-Communicable Disease Management Program Screens for and follows these conditions via home visits.
  • Asthma Provides sessions to create awareness and communicate with families/caregivers about asthma.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Educates residents about the causes, symptoms and prevention of COPD and monitors treatment.
  • Diabetes Educates people about the causes, identification, consequences, treatment, control and management of diabetes.
  • Hypertension Offers early diagnosis and access to effective treatment as key strategies for intervention for hypertension.
  • HIV/AIDS and TB Clinics Organizes regular clinics to educate the community about HIV/AIDS, and sends suspected patients to testing centers.

Impact of Asha’s Healthcare Programs

  • Covers 100% of women with antenatal care across Asha’s slums; 99% of births are either Institutional or by skilled birth attendants. No maternal deaths have been reported in the past 5 years.
  • Delivers post-natal care within 2 days of delivery in 99% of cases.
  • Initiates early breastfeeding in 99% of women.
  • Achieves normal weight for 99% of children born.
  • Administers three doses of DTP vaccines to 98.5% of children across Asha’s slums
  • Supplements Vitamin A to 97.4% of children.
  • Achieves an Infant Mortality rate of 13 per 1000 live births as compared to the national average of 28.3 per 1000 live births (2019)
  • Achieves an under-five mortality rate of 13 per 1000 live births as compared to the National average of 34 per thousand live births (World Bank-2019).
  • Achieves a TB Mortality rate across Asha’s slums of 1 per 1,000,000; the National Average is 32 per 1,000,000 (WHO-2019).
  • Diabetes Educates people about the causes, identification, consequences, treatment, control and management of diabetes.
  • Increases access to healthcare services and health seeking behavior. 
  • Improves slum cleanliness, sanitation, and hygiene, thus impacting health.

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Asha’s Mission is to work with the urban poor to bring about long-term and sustainable transformation to their quality of life.

Children in the slums of India