India: Direct Relief's programme activities update Sep 2006

News and Press Release
Originally published
Recipient: M/s. Mata Amritanandamayi Math
Shipment: 5319
Shipment Date: 9/5/2006
Value: $750,530

The Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences & Research Centre (AIMS), located in Cochin, Kerala State, is a multi-specialty, charitable non-profit medical center established in 1998. In its six years of operation, the facility has treated over 57,000 inpatients and more than 590,000 outpatients. The Amrita Kripa Hospital is an AIMS satellite facility located approximately 100 kilometers south of Cochin in the district of Kollam. This district, and especially the peninsula situated between the Arabian Sea on the system of backwater rivers, was particularly hard hit by the tsunami which crossed the peninsula, traveled over the backwater area, and onto the mainland. The hospital serves the coastal villages and has an emergency room equipped for cardiac arrests, asthma attacks, and other basic emergency procedures, as well as a small lab for blood and urine tests.

This facility has an emergency room that provides advanced resuscitation and initial care of acutemedical and basic surgical emergencies. It also cares for the daily medical needs of the hundreds of ashram visitors. Specialty outpatient clinics are held completely free of cost to the needy public on a weekly basis in the fields of ophthalmology, otolaryngology (ENT), orthopedics, dermatology, gynecology, and endocrinology/diabetology. A weekly clinic and dispensary provides homeopathic medicine. The hospital is equipped with a laboratory for basic hematology and blood chemistry, urinalysis, etc. The pharmacy dispenses free medicines to more than one hundred daily, approximately 80 percent of which comes from sample donations. The patient population includes over 8,000 villagers from the local fishing community, nearly 2,000 ashram residents, and more than 1,000 students and staff members of the AICT computer institute and about 200 construction workers. Consultations and medicines are free for the poor. The doctors see about 200 patients daily but on Devi Bhava days and festivals they work throughout the night. Medical care is provided to an average of 5,600 patients each month.

Recipient: M/s. Mata Amritanandamayi Math
Shipment: 5369
Shipment Date: 9/12/200
Value: $373,925

Weeks of heavy rain has caused severe flooding in western India - with the most affected areas located in the state of Gujarat. Direct Relief's emergency shipment will be provided to two partners including the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI), and Amrita Institute of Medical Services (AIMS).

AIDMI is a community based action research, action planning, and action advocacy non-governmental organization located in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The organization was founded after the Gujarat droughts of 1987-89 in an effort to reduce the disaster risk of vulnerable communities, and works towards bridging the gap between policy, practice, and research related to disaster mitigation. AIDMI currently has medical teams in flood-affected areas of Gujarat and has requested assistance with pharmaceutical products from Direct Relief.

AIMS is a multi-specialty, charitable non-profit medical center in Kerala that provides healthcare services to thousands of low-income and indigent patients. The 800-bed facility was established in 1998, and in its six years of operation, has treated tens of thousands of inpatients and hundreds of thousands of outpatients. In addition to its onsite activities, AIMS is acclaimed for providing free or low-cost community-based health programs, general medical and ophthalmic outreach camps, health awareness campaigns, and other medical services to people living throughout the city of Cochin and those residing in remote areas of the state. The facility also often responds to disaster situations that occur anywhere in the country and currently has set up a medical camp in Surat - one of the hardest hit areas in Gujarat. Contributions to the shipment came from sanofi-aventis.