Thousands of children living in urban slums and rural villages have little or no access to medical care. 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.
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 devastating 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 Shravan'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. GPM's health initiatives give those who are most vulnerable access to life-saving medical treatment and preventative care.
Until now, there was not a single qualified dentist in the entire Kalwa slum of 200,000 people. Residents of the slum needed to travel far distances for dental care, if they could afford it. The Martha B. Leigh Community Dental Clinic, located in the Bhaskar Nagar neighborhood in Kalwa, provides essential treatment for oral diseases such as cavities, extractions, and oral disease.