'Smile on Wheels'-mobile hospitals launched for poor unreachable

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New Delhi, Jun 10 (UNI) Union Minister for Women and Child development Renuka Chowdhury today launched 'Smile on Wheels'-- mobile hospitals aimed at providing health care services at the doorsteps of poor and unreachable population in slums and urban villages.

''This is a very ambitious and wonderful project which is going to benefit hundreds of thousands of people who otherwise suffer from various health complications for want of proper health care services in their vicinity,'' Ms Chowdhury said.

The two mobile hospitals would provide health care services to in accessible population in slums and urban villages of Delhi and Chennai and cover a target population of more than two lakh.

'Smile on Wheels' is a national level mobile hospital programme from Smile Foundation which aims to take comprehensive health care services--preventive, promotive and curative --to the most underprivileged population in remote rural areas and urban slums who are either out of reach from health care facilities or are too poor to afford it.

This is the second phase of the programme which has in less than two years of its launch provided health care services to 1.5 lakh people in 249 villages in five states of Uttarakhand, Orissa, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh with a population of 7.5 lakh.

''There is a yawning gap between the available health care services and their accessibility to a large population of our country. Initiatives like 'Smile on Wheels' need to be encouraged and supported by both the government and the private players if this gap is to be bridged,''said Mr Naresh Chowdhury, Chief Operating Officer of Smile Foundation.

UNI AJ ARB HT1900

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