Community Healthcare Project

The Hope Foundation’s Primary Healthcare Programme was originally conceived after observing the utterly unacceptable health status of street and slum dwellers. The harsh environmental and economic conditions in the slums result in malnutrition among children and elevated infant & maternal mortality rates. Poor access to the most basic of amenities - healthcare, nutrition, water and sanitation and limited knowledge of their entitlements to government services - heightens their vulnerability. The most commonly reported reasons for not using government facilities were the poor quality of care, excessive waiting times, misbehaviour of health service providers and the lack of knowledge regarding services. The percentage of households covered under any health scheme or social entitlement was particularly low.

HOPE has been implementing its community-based Jana Swasthya Suraksha Primary Healthcare in 35 slums, from 2007. The programme essentially aims to make slum dwellers aware of their basic rights with regard to health and social development and to support and facilitate them, through awareness generation, action, access, and advocacy. The programme is divided into 3 phases to make it more impact oriented: The Stage of Initiation (2007-11); The Stage of Consolidation (2011-15); and the current final phase: The Stage of Phasing Out (2015-17).

The programme, now in its final year, has created sustainable change in the community.

56% of residents benefit from health facilities, compared to 14% at the start of the intervention. 99% of mothers have accessed complete Ante Natal Care (ANC) services compared to 17% at the start of the programme, pointing to a significant increase in accessing Jana Suraksha Yojana (JSY) - the government sponsored scheme for ensuring safety and health for pregnant mothers. 81% children are now immunised compared to 16% initially.

Community Health Volunteers
Screening done by the CVP unit at Howrah Field
Health Education camp with adolescent girls at Bhagar Liluah Shishu Vidyapith


Community people are much more aware about diseases, preventive measures and management. Their overall knowledge on ANC, PNC (Post Natal Care), immunization, storage of drinking water and sanitation has improved. The programme has remained successful in creating positive impact especially in the areas of maternal and child health and increased access to public health facilities and entitlements. Positive changes has also been reported as most of the children, adolescent girls and malnourished pregnant mothers now access ICDS (Government welfare programme providing food to children and pregnant mothers, pre-school education, immunization and health care support to adolescent girls to prevent anaemia) services. Present linkages that have been established between Community Health Volunteers and Health Service Providers that will contribute towards sustainability of this project. Community Health Groups are effectively functional; members are aware of their tasks and responsibilities and work on health issues including ensuring ANC, PNC and child immunisation, accompanying pregnant women to the hospital to ensure the same, sharing the information on various schemes, facilities available from government for them and information on accessing those facilities. They have started regular meetings on their own and handle health issues affecting their own communities and are successfully taking the ownership of the programme and managing it, which will sustain after the end of this intervention.


The three critical issues addressed this year were:

  • Strengthening post-natal care accessibility by lactating mothers,
  • increase children’s and adolescent’s access to improved health care services, with the assistance of ICDS services and other government health units and
  • Reduction in RTI/STI prevalence in communities.

During the year our project targets were achieved completely:

  • 819 home visits were conducted by Community Health Volunteers to ensure mothers complete PNC schedule for themselves and their babies.
  • 141 new mothers accessed Post Natal Care services from government hospitals.
  • 36 out of 46 PNC services were disseminated by Anganwadi Workers.
  • 63 out of 163 doctors promoted the importance of PNC.
  • 530 meetings were held by Community Health Volunteers; 327 of them with Anganwadi Workers who disseminated and strengthened post-natal care accessibility for mothers and their new babies, and 203 with government hospitals, doctors and nurses.
  • 590 PNC counselling services were provided to new mothers and their families.
  • 2803 mothers and children attended 113 awareness camps organised by Community Health Volunteers on the importance of ICDS (Integrated Children Development Scheme) Centres. As a result 2608 children and 1960 adolescents enrolled under ICDS Centres, increasing their access to improved health care services. 2106 regularly attend ICDS services, as estimated 52% of whom, aged between 3-6 years, are getting pre-primary education and will subsequently go to government schools.
  • 33 ICDS centres are functioning as per the government norms.
  • 1373 adolescents have been tested for RTI/STI. Reduction in RTI/STI prevalence in communities has been brought about by extensive counselling and increased referrals to government hospitals.
  • 1228 people tested positive for RTI/STI and 976 completed their treatment successfully.
  • 238 networking sessions were conducted with local doctors and clinics to raise awareness on RTI/STI management.
  • 514 awareness sessions on identification of RTI/STI were attended by 4446 adolescents; 42% were boys.
  • 107 Community awareness camps on RTI/STI were attended by 2838 persons.