6. Through this project, Sonrisas de Mumbai organises medical day-sessions, campaigns and health check-ups for people in its area of action. Those beneficiaries who require it are referred to hospitals or specialised clinical centres to receive the necessary care at their own expense.
In India, as in most countries in the world, there is no public, free and universal health care as we know it in most western countries. Access to healthcare is very unequal, and depends to a large extent on factors such as gender, social status (caste), education, economic capacity and place of residence (urban versus rural).
In less developed areas, such as the slums where we work, health infrastructures are scarce and with poor resources. A consultation or treatment with a specialist implies an inaccessible cost for these people.
Mumbai Smiles has been working since 2008 to bring health care closer to the inhabitants of the most disadvantaged communities, providing check-ups and specialised treatment free of charge. People with visual, hearing or dental problems or with infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria or dengue have been able to receive the necessary care.
Since its inception, the community health programme has provided almost 20,000 check-ups, distributed more than 2,500 spectacles and carried out almost 500 dental treatments.
There is a great lack of information about diseases and how to prevent them. Concepts such as hygiene, health care, or going to the doctor when necessary, are often not part of their daily habits. For this reason, Mumbai Smiles brings these concepts to the communities through presentations and campaigns.
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