There is a close relationship between poverty and poor health. The poorest people in every society usually experience much higher levels of child and maternal mortality. The low capabilities of the poor individuals (low nutritional status, lack of awareness, marginal living and hazardous working conditions), coupled with poor access to health services and lack of money compels them to face more health related shocks. Owing to inadequate social security provisions, poor people are vulnerable to these shocks and tend to experience lower well -being.
The poor suffer worse health and die younger. They have higher than average child and maternal mortality, higher levels of disease burden, limited access to health care and social protection.
The Sundarbans, a unique biosphere reserve of mangrove forests and one of the global heritage sites, are located in the extreme south of West Bengal (an eastern Indian state) and Bangladesh, the neighbouring country. The entire area is intersected by tidal rivers or estuaries from north and south and by innumerable narrow tidal creeks from east to west painting an assortment of beautiful but largely formidable and inhospitable terrains. The area outside the reserve forest (54 islands), home of about 4 million people spread over 19 administrative blocks, is the human face of the Sundarbans which epitomizes abject poverty, deprivation, and acute struggle against geographical challenges.
The number of outpatients per bed day at the BPHCs of the Sundarbans worked out to be 25 to 30 percent less than the state average, primarily because of easy availability of unqualified providers. The number of PHCs is conspicuously low (total 47, one per 90,000 population) and few of them are non-functional (without any doctor).
Combating these problems in Sunderbans, our customised camps have become quite popular because of its easier availability and trustable doctors. We wish to expand our camp sites even more.
In case of cataracts and special conditions, it is clearly evident that the remotely situated hospitals in rural areas can hardly accommodate such specialized surgeries. We have taken up the initiative to take on such cases, conduct the required procedures through specialized hands, sometimes in our capital city and then return them back to their localities. We also provide spectacles to the ones who need them at nominal rates.