New Delhi: As the nation faces a possible third wave of COVID-19 infections, Smile Foundation has renewed its commitment to support primary healthcare infrastructure in the country. Smile Foundation will launch nine Smile on Wheels mobile healthcare units across the country over two months to support the delivery of primary healthcare services to underprivileged people. This will bring the total number of Smile on Wheels projects to 60 across the country.
Smile Foundation’s Smile on Wheels programme covers urban slums and rural locations to provide for the public healthcare needs of the underprivileged population.
Each mobile healthcare unit covers a vicinity of up to 25 km from its base and visits two to three villages a day. For secondary and tertiary healthcare, the mobile units refer patients to the nearest health facilities. Apart from providing curative services, the health teams attached to Smile on Wheels units also carry out preventive and promotive activities to encourage health-seeking behaviour.
The pandemic has been a rude shock to the country’s public healthcare infrastructure, putting it under immense pressure. Throughout the past two years when the pandemic raged, interventions by private and public organizations have helped India strengthen its healthcare infrastructure and the delivery of healthcare services. Smile Foundation has ramped up its efforts as the country sees the third wave of COVID-19 infections.
Santanu Mishra, Co-Founder and Executive Trustee, Smile Foundation said, “The rapid spread of Omicron, the new variant of Coronavirus, is an indicator that the pandemic is far from over. We at Smile Foundation are monitoring the situation closely, and at the same time, are ramping up efforts to strengthen healthcare systems and service delivery.”
Smile Foundation’s Smile on Wheels initiative aims to reach the unreached with quality healthcare services. The programme has so far provided free healthcare services to more than 1.5 million children and families across the country.