The fishermen, honey hunters and other marginalised people of West Bengal’s Sunderban area are a vulnerable population out of the reach of any Indian health care programme. 94% have no awareness about health and diabetes. Their food is rich in carbohydrates, exercise sporadic, and diabetes rates are high.
Yet state and district hospitals are inaccessible to many who live here, and there is no government diabetes programme at the village level. Medical care requires a boat trip to a district hospital and the loss of a day’s earnings. All too often, diabetes in this population is detected at a late stage, after complications have become advanced.
To bring awareness, prevention, and care of diabetes to the poor and marginalised people of the Sundarban islands, India. The project will achieve this by training health educators, holding awareness camps, launching a mobile diabetes boat clinic, and monitoring and referring those with a need for further care.
The project targets traditional fishermen and indigenous honey hunters living in river-locked, remote and inaccessible areas in West Bengal, where there are presently no facilities for diabetes prevention and care.
Community health workers from both public and private health facilities will be trained as diabetes educators and counsellors. The training will be conducted by already identified diabetes experts. Awareness and screening camps will be rolled out in public settings.
A mobile diabetes clinic on a boat including staff and equipment will be deployed to reach the targeted areas; remote islands. Activities include monitoring of clinical indicators and check-up for foot complications. The boat-based mobile clinic will be staffed by one assigned doctor and two community health workers.
Through home visits by community health workers and through an SMS alert system, the project will ensure follow-up counselling, care, and referral of detected patients.Referral services for patients with complications will be offered through regular meetings and coordination with the authorities of district and state general hospitals.
• 100 CHWs trained
• 54,000 people reached through awareness camps
• 21,600 at-risk people screened through blood glucose tests
• 6,000 people diagnosed and receiving regular care from the boat clinic
• 6,000 people detected and followed up, patients with complications referred