The current health scenario of the general population of India is a sad one. According to The Lancet a new index developed to assess each country’s achievement on a range of health indicators, India ranks at 154 in a list of 188 countries. A staggering 70% of the population still lives in rural areas and has no or limited access to hospitals and clinics. In addition, India has 48 doctors per 100,000 persons which is fewer than in developed nations. The country has the third highest child mortality rate among SAARC countries with 48 deaths reported per 1,000 live births and the total life expectancy is 68.3 which gives India a World Life Expectancy ranking of 123.
A two pronged approach – first to bring quality health care services to doorsteps of the needy and second to promote healthcare awareness and contemporary health care seeking behavior among the underprivileged has become the most important need for the people at the moment.
To take healthcare to the poorest of the poor and to the remotest of places Smile Foundation initiated a unique delivery modal with practical mechanism called Smile on Wheels. Smile on Wheels is a unique mobile hospital programme that seeks to address problems of mobility, accessibility and availability of primary healthcare with a special focus on children and women, in urban slums and remote rural areas.
More than 10 lakh children and families have benefitted so far from the free healthcare services provided through the Smile on Wheels programme.