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Comprehensive Healthcare Programme
India has a very defined and structured healthcare policy, but with issues related to infrastructural development and people's health seeking behaviour, access to quality healthcare services is a challenge, especially in rural India. Access to healthcare gets further stymied due to factors like poverty, poor nutrition patterns, lack of correct information and superstitious beliefs.

ACF comprehensive health care programme emphasises on an integrated approach to health, wherein development issues like water, sanitation, roads, livelihood, nutrition and education which determine village health, are given equal attention.
ACF's Comprehensive Healthcare Programme:
Preventive And Promotive Health Intervention
  • Maternal And Child Health
  • Nutrition Education
  • Comprehensive Sanitation
  • Safe Drinking Water
Sustainable Health Action And Access To Quality Health Care
  • Convergence with the Public health system
  • Strengthening Village Health and Sanitation Committee (VHSC)
  • Capacity building of Panchayat, Gram Sabha
  • Community based monitoring of health services
Clinical Care
  • Mobile health dispensary
  • Health camps
  • Diagnostic centre
  • Basic clinical care through Sakhi
  • Referral service
Today, ACF implements a holistic and programmatic intervention at 11 locations around the country, addressing general and special health needs of communities. Five more locations currently provide clinical services as part of our intervention strategy. These services are provided on location through our cadre of 283 trained health workers, known as sakhis. These village-based women health workers provide basic counselling and guidance, refer for specialized medical intervention (if needed), and serve as the backbone of the program.

In 2005, ACF started with a pilot of 20 sakhis in Chandrapur, Maharashtra. Through a detailed selection process, involving participation of the community, women were trained on preventive and curative healthcare for Antenatal Care (ANC), Postnatal Care (PNC) and immunization programs.

The healthcare programme was later expanded to include the Home Based Neonatal Care (HBNC) in Chandrapur through the Sakhis after the National Health Survey revealed the district having one of the worst infant mortality rates (IMR) in the country. HBNC is a life cycle approach in which the HBNC worker starts interacting with women from the time they become eligible for motherhood till the time their offspring becomes five years old. The program emphasizes on delivering appropriate care for the mother and child.

Presently the program is spread across 646 villages in 7 States, namely Rajasthan, Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal and Chhattisgarh. Through intensive work, a positive change is reflected in the current IMR and MMR figures emerging from the districts

Sakhis and their work have been appreciated at both grassroots as well as the Government level. Hundred and thirty-eight of ACF trained sakhis have been absorbed in the government system under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) as ASHA workers or as Anganwadi workers.

Malnourishment is another area of focus, and ACF conducts regular anaemia and malnourishment tests among young mothers and their children. Patients receive nutritional supplements through their local anganwadi workers. Villagers are also encouraged and supported to develop kitchen gardens around their house or farmland; to grow a variety of vegetables to meet the families' nutritional requirement.

Sanitation, Hygiene and Safe drinking water is another key area, in which villagers are provided with correct information and education on government policies on all the above mentioned issues by ACF. ACF contributes by
Explaining the importance of safe drinking water, villages were encouraged to install RO plants at community level and keep major water-borne diseases at bay.
Constructing Soak-pit, which not only curtails water scarcity, but also keeps villages clean
Garbage collection and segregation helping keep the environment clean as well recycle energy through biomass.
The toilets are built with part contribution from the individuals and the local Gram Panchayat. Wherever required, ACF also provides monetary support for constructing toilets.
Hand washing sessions are also conducted at village schools.
Health camp in the specialized areas of optics, gynaecology and paediatric care are also conducted across all locations for the rural community, where reach is a major challenge.

Villagers are trained and encouraged to attend village gram-sabha (community gathering) and discuss health issues with Village Health & Sanitation Committee (VHSC).

In its continuous effort of providing health facility at the grassroots, ACF health team works closely with the government officials, private partners and other civil society groups.

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