The collaborative efforts between Government and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in rural or urban development is encouraging concerted efforts in diverse activities.
While some NGOs are actively taking up the responsibility of reaching out to the underprivileged section of the society, including the agricultural laborers, marginal farmers, and reservation castes, some are directly involved in setting up healthcare facilities and educational institutes in the rural localities.
Also, many are focusing on enabling the provision of better nutrition to children, family welfare, health intervention, vocational training, and allowing the formulation of youth and special programmes for senior citizens.
However, to successfully organize any outreach camp, a lot of effort combined with continuous brainstorming is needed. Here’s a rundown of the same.
This is a critical process aimed at identifying and reaching marginalized individuals and families who lack information about their health rights, entitlements, and preventive health services. This mapping exercise is essential because these vulnerable groups often remain hidden from the health system and service providers due to their complex circumstances.
Instances like geo-spatial distribution of populations, social relationships and problems of access to healthcare, limited access to drinking water, food security entitlements and sanitation facilities, all are instrumental in creating a proper plan.
For successful mapping, mobilization of these underprivileged groups, and allowing access to follow-up facilities, community health volunteers from different backgrounds are actively introduced. These volunteers take part as peer educators belonging to specific vulnerable groups- including sanitation workers, commercial sex workers, rag-pickers etc.
The second unit includes community volunteers from the adolescent clinics located in adolescent hang-out locations or amongst unorganized workers etc. Another set would be spotting from the younger generation, willing to take part in the domiciliary support to the disabled and aged population.
These outreach camps are generally built in areas populated with the vulnerable and marginalized. The mapping further identifies locations with higher concentrations where an unorganized working crowd is involved. This offers the outreach camps an alternative place other than community centers to successfully support the cause.
Outreach services, including mobile clinics, also play a crucial role in identifying disparities in the healthcare facilities provided to the underserved crowd. In this regard, mobile clinics offer healthcare facilities on the go, offering essential medical assistance to sections of people thriving on limited or zero access to healthcare facilities.
SIRRA is an NGO operational over the last ten years for Rural Welfare activities. The organization, launched under the leadership of A. Shama Rao Foundation, is extremely popular in the field of quality education services and is supported by nineteen colleges.
The NGO comprises a team of expert trainers and resource individuals catering to Dakshina Kannada District’s rural development activities. SIRRA has organized numerous programmes, offering opportunities for student Social Workers to practice their field practicum with the knowledge, contacts, and skills gained over time.
This was further aided by the Srinivas Institute of Medical Science and Research Centre in Mangalore. Further, the organization over the years has initiated several community outreach programmes, awareness programs, medical camps, etc. for the marginalized population.
Unfortunately, there are 100 million people in the world who are blind due to cataracts. To transform eye care on an unprecedented scale, investor, philanthropist, and entrepreneur Tej Kohli and globally recognized ophthalmologist Sanduk Ruit, Managing Director, have undertaken this massive NGO.
More than 48,000 individuals, mostly those thriving in extreme impoverishment, have received their sight thanks to a collective effort via the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation. By 2030, they hope to eliminate cataract blindness in 1 million people.
The charity regularly plans “microsurgical field camps” in remote areas with a high incidence of severe visual impairment to perform cataract procedures. With the help of cooperation with national and local governments, local and regional hospitals, eye facilities, surgeons and interpreters, they have organized more than 105 microsurgery camps in Nepal, Bhutan, India and Ghana.
Every day, surgeons in these camps perform 300 to 600 free cataract surgeries. In the last three months, 8,000 procedures have been completed in Ghana alone. Compared to the usual expenses of $3,000 to $5,000 for similar treatment abroad, their ability to perform these surgeries at an average cost of roughly $50-$70 per person is astounding.
Post-surgery, patients are provided with post-operative care, which includes observation, accommodation, food during the overnight stay, and education about medication. Weekly and monthly inspections are carried out by local hospital partners. In order to evaluate the long-term effects on patients’ quality of life, the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation also conduct follow-up consultations with patients six to twelve months after surgery.
The PSEA Fund seeks to actively support the vital work that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) perform on a daily basis. Their goal is to aggressively prevent situations of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) and ensure that the populations they work with realize that humanitarian aid is never dependent on anything.
Since its debut in 2020, the fund has enjoyed strong interest from NGOs, community groups, conservation specialists, and other humanitarian actors involved in PSEA initiatives. More than 3,500 applications have already been submitted. Each year, all qualified applications are actively reviewed and evaluated by an interagency steering group made up of representatives from UN organizations, NGO networks and NGOs.
So far, the fund has awarded 49 initiatives with grants totalling about $20,000 each. These awards are intended to support PSEA by increasing civic engagement and awareness. More than 2 million rights holders were reported to be actively using the fund.
The health system needs to undergo significant adjustments to achieve universal health coverage (UHC), and governments cannot do this alone. Recognizing and utilizing the assets and resources of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) is one possible strategy for achieving this.
Although NGOs are essential to the delivery of health services, there is still little knowledge about how to work with them to achieve this universal goal. NGOs have the potential to be instrumental in promoting UHC alongside government and other groups or organizations.
In the local context, it is particularly important to understand the role of NGOs and their contribution to achieving a better global society. As part of the path to UHC, governments must consider basic and systematic methods for integrating NGOs in the pursuit of public health goals.
The presence of NGOs can improve financial support and increase the quality of services provided in underserved and marginalized communities, which is important given the expansion of healthcare and the global focus on improving the standard of life.