Arogya Chetana – Health for Children
Arogya Chetana is a unique project of Adamya Chetana. Conceived as part of Adamya Chetana’s holistic approach to the development of children, it reaches the children who are part of Annapoorna, our midday meal programme. These children are from underserved sections of society who are unable to access health facilities on account of lack of resources – knowledge, finance, confidence to approach health service providers. Arogya Chetana steps in to fill this gap.
The children suffer from diseases that are result of malnourishment, infections on account of low resistance (especially upper respiratory infections), skin, dental, orthopaedic, eye, and ear, nose, throat problems.
The Team and its Role
Arogya Chetana consists of a team of doctors who do check-ups for the children at the school. This helps to identify children that require further interventions. Simple ailments are treated on the spot. Others are referred to our partner hospitals or doctors. The teachers participate in the check-ups by checking the height and weight of children, documenting; their inputs regarding the child’s health over time, the family background etc help the doctors in guiding the children and their parents appropriately.
Chetana plays a facilitative role in helping these children access health service providers. Our partner doctors and hospitals provide treatment or interventions where required, free of cost or at a very minimal cost. The Arogya Chetana team facilitates by providing guidance to the parents and teachers, raises funds from philanthropic organizations and individuals on a case by case basis, and supports the family through the entire process when required.
Health Insurance for Children
The Government of Karnataka has recognized the importance of health insurance for the poor in its Karnataka Integrated Health Policy of 2004. Adamya Chetana is facilitating insurance cover for 10,000 children through a special policy of the New India Assurance Company Ltd. Contributions to the premium are made by parents, school managements and donors. We believe that it is important for the parents to participate in the health cover for their children in whatever way they can. We hope that this “pilot” programme will spur expansion of the health insurance for all children.
An important innovation in this Health Insurance Scheme is the cross-subsidy that we have been able to negotiate with schools that are able to afford a higher contribution. Several schools have come forward to help subsidise the premium for children from economically underprivileged sections.
The Government of Karnataka has insured all children against accidents. However, parents have not been able to benefit from the scheme due to lack of information. Adamya Chetana facilitates this process for the children under the umbrella of Arogya Chetana.