Thousands of children living in urban slums and rural villages have little or no access to medical care. This means that maternal and early childhood care if often scant and sporadic at best, if at all. Hospitals and clinics are far away, and often children do not receive vaccinations, vitamins or critical de-worming medications. Reports indicate that over 53% of children in India under five years live without basic healthcare and 66% receive minimal or no healthcare. Poor children in India are three times more likely to die before their fifth birthday than children in other parts of the world.
The results of this widespread lack of access to healthcare are tragic: preventable illness, injury and death among mothers, infants and children from disease, flu and diarrhea. India has the highest number of children dying as a result of preventable diseases such as pneumonia and diarrhea – 436,000 every year.
GPM witnessed the tragic consequences of the inaccessibility of health care when one of our students, Shravan Shah, tragically died from lack of access to basic health care. In response to Sharvan's tragically preventable death, GPM partnered with the Indian NGO Doctors for You to establish an accessible maternal and children’s medical clinic, for thousands of children in the heart of the Kalwa slum: The Shravan Health Center.