Athreya Vascular Foundation (AVF)
With pride we present activities of AVF and charitable services of JIVAS; we reach out to people and places where many have not ventured.We are constantly looking for funding these projects where all our (doctors and hospital) services are free. This report represents our efforts till march 31st, 2015.
Need for diabetes treatment for the poor/low income patientsIndia is besieged with diabetes, which continues to affect both urban and rural population, unfortunately couple of decades younger than in other countries. The rural population and the urban poor do not have access to adequate medical care or more commonly do not seek care as often as needed. JIVAS has well established diabetic foot clinic (now rename hejje – diabetic foot and wound care center), which is recognized by the prestigious World Diabetes Foundation (WDF) of Denmark as one of the centres of excellence in the world for such training.
JIVAS has been providing diagnostic and counselling services about diabetic foot and vascular problems in rural areas since 2005 and soon this became complete diabetic evaluation and counselling program. Patients are evaluated for symptoms, RBS and foot evaluation performed with sophisticated equipments, provided by funding from WDF. ECG, eye exam (fundoscopy) are performed when necessary.
Who we areThe Jain Institute of Vascular Sciences (JIVAS) is a unit of Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain Hospital, Vasanthnagar, Bangalore (http://www.bmjh.org/), established in 1975. The Hospital has the reputation of being the most trusted and ethical hospital in Bangalore, with Dr. M.D. Marker as the Medical Director.
JIVAS is able to receive charitable donations through the JIVAS Fund of the Hospital. The Hospital has FCRA clearance.
Key ActivitiesThe activities are presented here in segments, but they merge into each other seamlessly as each arm complements the other:
1. Training of health care workers from across India in diabetic foot– 300health care workers have been trained from various parts of India since 2007.
2. Training of health care volunteers: These volunteers from NGOs undergo basic training in recognizing diabetics, performing blood sugar, providing appropriate counseling and directing the patients to appropriate local health care facility or to JIVAS mobile clinic if it visits that area. The staff of JIVAS travel in the mobile clinic for training these volunteers free of charge, in Doddaballapur, about 75 kms from Bangalore city. They cover an area in 5 districts with a population of 7,75,000. These healthcare workers train others in their own organization about detecting diabetes.
3. The Mobile Clinic visits to rural areas: This unique project, in which a bus has been converted into a mobile clinic with all the required equipment and specialized staff, has rendering free evaluation/diagnostic services for over 3 years. Over 50,000 patients have been screenedfree of charge through the mobile clinics, which on an average visits 20 rural areas a month - a significant achievement. The main expenses for this program include salaries, running costs, consumables like strips for blood glucose, documentation/records, etc.
4. Rural public awareness programs: Awareness programs about diabetes to various sections of people in rural areas have been conducted over last 3 years by our staff, using the mobile clinic to travel to rural areas and also to show the public the simple ways and equipments used for diagnosing diabetes and lower limb problems. This program also works through key people in the community who have access and influence over the larger population in the village, such as Self Help Groups, Schools, Anganwadi workers, Panchayats, etc. This program has reached over 15,000 people since inception. Awareness programs are conducted free of charge.
5. Rural screening camps: These screening camps are held in rural areas, in addition to scheduled visits, in areas not regularly covered by the mobile clinic. Screening is done free of charge. They are organized by local organizations and the staff travel in mobile clinic to offer diabetic screening for these patients and counselling and recommendations.
2014-2015Total (2007 to2015)
Number of camps conducted 18 515
Number of patients seen 3,200 47,972
6. Project “ANVESHANI” (meaning search): We consider this an exceptional project where trained volunteers travel door to door in selected rural areas trying to identify new diabetics and offer assistance to existing patients. This project is carried out in 3 districts (Doddaballapur, Gowribidanur, Nelmangala, DevanahalliandKoratagere) in association with a very dedicated NGO (GASS – GrameenaAbhyudayaSevaSamsthe). This NGO is already doing an exceptional work in many areas, including health and has good network of volunteers. We have trained about 120 volunteers in basic diabetic care including recognition of the disease, performing blood sugar, checking blood pressure and counseling of the patients. They motivate the patients to seek medical help when required either in local health care facility or in our mobile clinic. The activities through this project include:
- Door to door survey of patients – Hundreds of villages with several lakhs of patients are covered
- Performing blood sugar tests with glucometer –thousands of such tests have been performed by these volunteers
- Educating rural population about diabetes – done through street plays in local language, choreographed and performed by the volunteers; wall writing about the disease; TV/video programs in 3 districts
2014- 2015 Total(2007 to 2015)
Number of villages covered 286 939
Number of population screened 65,296 12,99,471
Number of new diabetics detected 2014 18,338
The volunteers are paid a small amount (Rs. 700/- per month) + their travel by bus. Other expenses include consumables like glucometer strips.
Project Achievements1. Provided “neighborhood” evaluation and care to rural diabetics, who have minimal access to this form of care.
2. Major achievement is in creating awareness about diabetes among these patients and in the surrounding villages. It has been satisfying to see the patients coming back for follow up to the mobile clinic.
3. Nearly all the patients are very poor and the services are provided free, with funding various agencies, trusts and individuals.
4. We are unable to provide any medications, since the care is long term. However, patients are able to buy the medicines and they are also directed to Primary Health Centers(PHCs).
5. The volunteers from NGOs, though they have only basic education, are doing an exemplary work and without them the projects will not progress. We need to continue to support them with at least monthly minimal remuneration and offset the travel expenses.
6. There is increasing awareness and appreciation from villagers as to how simple measures (like wearing some form of footwear) can prevent a major problem like amputation.
Donors & Supporters1. World Diabetes Foundation, Denmark – funding from WDF forms the basis for most of the projects for the last 6 years.
2. Biocon trust/ARY of Dr.KiranMazumdar Shaw – Supported the JIVAS Fund for the last 4 years
3. Dr. MuhammedMajeed of Sami Labs – ardent supporter of nearly all activities of JIVAS through Athreya Vascular Foundation (AVF) for since the last 8 years
4. Late Mr. GewarchandSurana and now his son Mr. DilipSurana – who have supported several projects, including donating some much needed equipments.A new mobile unit (replacing the old bus) was donated by Mr. DilipSurana in June 2012.
Projects have been funded either through the JIVAS Fund or the Athreya Vascular Foundation
Subsidized surgical/endovascular procedures at JIVAS/BMJH
Since BMJH is a not for profit hospital, we do get significant numbers of low income and “below poverty line – BPL patients. Vascular procedures are expensive and most of poorer patients present at a delayed stage of diseases. We have “camp beds” where the procedures are done at whatever patients can afford and at times completely free. The doctors waive off all their charges, the hospital writes off significant charges, but the expensive consumables, drugs need to be funded. These are funded by NGOs and trusts.
We believe it is important to continue these projects with assistance from our donors, since it makes a significant difference in these rural areas.