baldev medical & community centre

the community we serve

the Caldwells with Barbara Crossette & David at the inaugural ceremony

Social worker Narayanappa with sangha members


Background of the Project

Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu has been identified as the most backward district in terms of health and development. Located in the rain shadow belt of Tamil Nadu, the rocky terrain does not lend itself to agricultural prosperity, and the rural communities are solely dependent on the scanty rainfall for farming activities. The specific area chosen to establish the Health Centre is remote and is situated about 10 kms. away from the nearest primary health centre. Infrequent and irregular public transport systems hinder any quick access to emergency health services. Education facilities are limited to government primary schools, with the nearest high school also located around 10 kms. away.

Large sections of the communities in this area belong to the scheduled and backward groups. These persons are largely landless laborers who have no fixed assets. There are not many non-farming occupations in this area. Poverty is rampant.

Diseases such as communicable diseases, respiratory infections, tuberculosis and leprosy are widely prevalent. Anemia and malnutrition is seen in more than 75% of women and children. Chronic illnesses lead to loss of precious human-hours and income. Other problems such as alcoholism, spouse and child abuse are consequences of poverty and ignorance.

In Krishnagiri district alone the quality of life indicators are:
1. Infant mortality rate : 85 / 1000
2. Total literacy rate : 39.6%
3. Percentage of families below Poverty Line : 42%
4. Cultivators : 49.2%
5. Agricultural landless : 34.6%

A very unique and widely documented feature of this district is the prevalence of female infanticide. Despite efforts of the government, there has not been much positive impact in curtailing this practice.

Being a backward area and situated on a State border, this block tends to be marginalized from mainstream political interventions. Local panchayat bodies have been set up, but they are not proficient enough at the moment to ensure good governance. Women are poorly represented in the political framework.

There has been no attempt by any government primary health centre to store and manage accurate health data on a permanent basis. Most of the data available is focused on immunization, family planning and a few chronic diseases.

All these issues are bound to increase if unchecked. The vicious cycle of poverty, illiteracy leading to malnutrition and infection, in turn leading to further poverty needs to be broken without further delay.

The local communities have been involved in all the projects of The George Foundation right from the planning stage. In our health initiatives too, the communities have participated in the pre-planning discussions and needs analysis. They have also contributed towards labour in the development of infrastructure required for this project. Local government bodies such as the panchayat members are actively involved in motivating their communities to utilize the proposed facilities and practice the health messages they receive.

Baldev Centre is a three-level building with approximately 16,000 sq feet floor area. The ground floor area is devoted to outpatient clinics, and comprises rooms for EDPS registration, examination/treatment room, doctor's office, laboratory, pharmacy, administrative section and training classroom. Great care has been taken in the design to facilitate an efficient workflow through the outpatient section. The second level, connected to the ground floor by both a staircase and a ramp, has the inpatient ward, labour room, minor operation theatre and recovery rooms. Up to 10 inpatients can be kept at a time. The third floor has residential quarters for the doctors, nurses and other staff.
An administrator, a resident nurse and a trained social workers operate this centre. It is being equipped with infrastructure to provide primary healthcare, as well as emergency care, and community services. Baldev has the potential to become the coordination and surveillance centre for all PHCs that maintain patient records using the EDPS2000 system.

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