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C-NES-NRHM partnership to take care of island-dwellers' health

By Staff

Guwahati, May 2 (UNI) With a view to extending health services to the island-dwellers of Dhemaji, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Morigaon and Dhubri districts of Assam, the state government has taken up a new initiative.

Official sources said here today that under the initiative, a Public Private Partnership (PPP) had been forged between the Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES) and National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) to bring health and healing to many who had been outside the reach of existing services.

Health teams, including doctors, nurses and community organisers, have been travelling to the islands despite extremely challenging conditions to reach out to thousands of people with health services.

The agreement was signed in February and as many as 103 camps had been conducted in February and March.

The camps were organised for one to four days on the islands and reached almost 16,000 people so far.

The teams comprised a total of 50 persons for the five districts, including 10 doctors, along with nurses, pharmacists, lab technicians, community workers and organisers.

The programme is a continuation of the C-NES boat clinic project which started in Dibrugarh in 2005 and later covered Tinsukia and Dhemaji districts.

''The partnership with NRHM has given a huge and effective boost to the effort to reach the isolated areas with health care, especially immunisation programmes, and care of both pregnant women and new mothers,'' C-NES Managing Trustee Sanjoy Hazarika said.

Mr Hazarika pointed out that there are over 2,500 ''saporia/chars'' in Assam with a population of over 25 lakh. Most of the smaller saporia hardly have any facilities.

NRHM has been providing medicines, equipment, running costs and salaries. C-NES has designed and built the health ships and selected the doctors and other staff to run the campaign.

''The target is to reach out to at least one lakh persons by the year-end and to further increase this number substantially in 2009,'' Mr Hazarika added.


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