Ekam (India) was started in 2009 by Dr. Sai Lakshmi and has served numerous children in need. Dr. Sai Lakshmi is a pediatrician who is single-mindedly dedicated to Ekam’s cause of providing health care to every child who needs it.
Dr. Sai Lakshmi’s Introduction to Ekam
- While training as a pediatrician in a Govt. hospital in Hyderabad, she noted that some children would die to due to lack of basic resources, even by the time she would finish rounds daily. This made her resolve to bring a change in such conditions.
- She later moved to Chennai and had similar experiences of infants and neonates dying in ICU due to heat stroke, as they did not have air-conditioning.
- She then started Ekam. Inspite of unfavorable odds at times, trying to support numerous children with minimal funds, she has managed to provide support to many children and helped ease the discomfort of parents that could not afford health care for their children.
- Dr. Sai Lakshmi has received numerous awards for her work through Ekam.
- Ekam in India strives to improve neonatal, infant, childhood, adolescent and maternal mortality rate by providing support and enhancing their health through several initiatives. They provide health screening for children in slums, Govt. schools and orphanages, etc.
- Each child that is identified to have a health need is given an Ekam card that allows the child to access health care at several of the hospitals or providers that are affiliated with Ekam, either free of charge, or at a subsidized cost that is billed to Ekam. So the child gets immediate and necessary treatment. The providers see the child for free and the hospitals work well with Ekam, providing at-cost surgeries, etc., sometimes even as a loan to be paid later.
- Ekam also supplements Govt. hospitals by recruiting/ training nurses where necessary, such as NICU. When there is a need for ventilators in ICU, they rent them and give to the hospitals until the child is discharged (instead of using manual ambu bag that would otherwise be the case).
- Ekam provides grassroots training of volunteers in villages for early recognition of distress in children and early referral/ transportation to tertiary care centers.
- This has been recognized by Tamil Nadu Govt. and encouraged by giving Ekam the responsibility for further training in other districts.
- Ekam model has worked so well that other state Govt.s have requested their support in developing the structure in their states. Currently Ekam is in operation in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Chattisgarh and Uttaranchal. Ekam is expanding to Bangalore and Hyderabad as well. There is a lot of local support through individual donors, volunteers, etc. in these places.
- Ekam has several fundraising events in India and has international support through friends.
For more information, please click here Ekam.