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Swiss aid for health care in Odisha

Swiss aid for health care in Odisha
July 12
14:55 2019

India Post News Service

Swiss Heidi Foundation (SHF) and Child Health Care Heidi (CHCH), NGOs based out of Odisha and Switzerland, are working on early recognition of diseases and providing access to adequate therapy by setting up a centre for preventive, conventional, curative and rehabilitative services in Dhenkanal in the state of Odisha.

This initiative was started by Sasank Mohanty, Novartis Technical Operation, Switerland, and his team based in both Switzerland and India. He is related to Deb Mohanty, a long-time resident of Bay Area. Hailing from Odisha, he and his team are committed to building a center for pediatric outpatient care, physical and mental intervention, rehabilitation services for children with muscular-skeletal abnormalities in Dhenkana, Odisha.

Health indices in Odisha, a state in eastern India, like in all low and middle-income countries, are still very poor. Maternal mortality and infant mortality rates have remained at 253 per 100,000 and 41 per 1,000 live births respectively.

In the tribal area of Dhenkanal there is a general lack of health care for children. Congenital abnormalities further reduce the chances of survival and affect the potential of children who survive the numerous killer diseases of childhood. Two of the most frequent congenital abnormalities with life-long impairment are clubfoot and muscular-skeletal abnormalities due to cerebral palsy.

In Odisha with its 40 million inhabitants, more than 800 children are born annually with clubfoot (1:1000 births) and 1600 with cerebral palsy (2:1000 births). Due to late diagnosis of the diseases, lack of access to adequate therapy and lack of compliance with therapy, many children face the fate of a downward spiral of disability, dependency and demoralization.

This project of SHF and CHC Heidi aims to reduce morbidity and disability of the children in the Dhenkanal area in general and also in children with muscular-skeletal abnormalities. The first module will be an education center and an out patient department (OPD) for children, including a mobile unit. The second module will be a fully equipped orthosis workshop according to the local needs. Module three will be a rehabilitation center for handicapped children while module four will be a home for the relatives of the handicapped children.

One acre of land has been allocated by the local authorities at Kamakhyanagar in the Dhenkanal district, close to district headquarters, Dhenkanal town. Overall estimate of the project is 250,000 Swiss francs. SHF and CHCH is looking for different funding sources to raise the funds needed to build the center, for initial operation costs and for further project development. For more details and funding, visit

On January 11, 2019, a ceremony for the laying of the foundation stone for the health care center in Dhenkanal was held. The ceremony was hosted by members of CHCH and SHF in the presence of state Minister Prafulla Kumar Mallik and Mohanty



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