Orissadiary, Jan 9, 2015
Report by Odisha Diary bureau, Rayagada: For people living in inaccessible pockets of Rayagada, Kalahandi and Nuapada districts, most of them belong to the scheduled tribes access to modern healthcare facilities was a distant dream. But now the situation is different. More so after Utkal Alumina International Limited (UAIL), a unit of Aditya Birla Group’s Hindalco Industries Limited, began operations in the Kashipur block of Rayagada district and Thuamula Rampur block of Kalahandi district. Healthcare received a priority under Utkal Alumina’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme. The company has set up a health centre at Nuapada where four experienced doctors, three in allopathic and one in homoeopathy, are posted for rendering healthcare services to patients. Besides, specialists in gynaecology, medicine, pediatrics and surgery visit the health centre regularly and are available for consultation. Furthermore, Utkal has been providing healthcare services to people at their doorstep in 33 villages of 3 gram panchayats at the Rampur block and 27 villages of 6 gram panchayats under the Kashipur block through two Mobile Health Units (MHUs). These MHUs conduct diagnosis, supply free medicines and raise awareness through Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities on sanitation and cleanliness, family planning, mother and child care, immunization, nutrition and Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY). During 2013-14, the MHUs conducted 360 camps at Thuamula Rampur block in which 12,694 patients from the peripheral villages were treated free of cost. Similarly, 15578 patients received treatment in 524 health camps conducted in Kashipur block. During 2012-13, UAL chlorinated 112 tube wells, cleaned and disinfected 32 drains in 27 villages. It also organized 12 awareness camps on diarrhea, 17 on RSBY, 24 on sanitation, 36 on mother and child care, five on school health, one on family planning, 8 on malaria, 8 on role of Gaon Kalyan Samiti, 10 on role of health workers, 2 on anemia & IFA, and 3 on construction and use of temporary latrines. “Branded medicine and healthcare facilities have reduced occurrence of diseases and dependence on quacks,” said Narayan Naik of Gopinathpur village in Kalahandi district. Somanath Naik of Brahmanichanchara in Kalahandi district remarks that the programmes organized by Utkal Alumina have raised people’s awareness. “The continuous efforts of the Mobile Health Units to provide healthcare facility to people have not only helped Utkal Alumina gain peoples’ confidence but also saved precious lives besides saving people’s time and money in visiting hospitals at faraway places, thus contributing to their socio-economic development,” said Mr. Vijay Sapra, the President and Unit Head of UAIL. “We hope, in future the people living in the periphery of the plant and mines will get more and more specialized healthcare facilities. Utkal Alumina is committed to extending all possible health care services to people in these remote pockets of Rayagada and Kalahandi districts,” added Mr. Sapra.