Strengthening the Healthcare Facilities
Ekam USA supports Ekam Foundation’s work to improve maternal and child health in India by upgrading and maintaining healthcare facilities and training hospital staff in government hospitals.
Since 2009, Ekam has supplemented the public healthcare system in more than 1,500 government hospitals by procuring and maintaining life-saving equipment and working to streamline hospital processes. Ekam also recruited and trained nurses, doctors, data operators, and other healthcare professionals to work in these government hospitals.
Dr. Sailakshmi visited one hospital where she witnessed a mother operating an Ambu bag—a hand-held device used to provide short-term ventilation to patients who are having trouble breathing—for her baby. Ambu bags are meant to provide temporary support until the patient can be put on a ventilator. When Dr. Sai asked the mother how long she had been providing breathing support for her baby by squeezing the bag every few seconds, the mother told her “7 days” continuously. The baby would have died if the bag was not squeezed for even a minute. There was a ventilator in the hospital, but it was new and had not been set up yet. Often, there are not enough ventilators for patients in need or the equipment is under repair and unavailable for use. This is unacceptable. That is why Ekam started working with maintenance engineers to install and maintain hospital equipment in a timely manner.
One of Ekam’s key initiatives is staffing and maintaining equipment for Sick Newborn Care Units (SNCUs) with the support of equipment maintenance engineers, NGOs and medical professionals.
Dr. Sailakshmi Balijepally
Govt of Tamil Nadu
To address the primary concern of equipment breakdown and maintenance related mortality and morbidity, in 2010, the Tamil Nadu Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Ekam Foundation to service, repair, and monitor SNCU equipment in 64 SNCUs. This initiative has helped improve care quality and decrease mortality rates related to equipment breakdown in SNCUs.
Govt of Chhattisgarh / UNICEF
Since 2014, Ekam Foundation has partnered with the Government of Chhattisgarh and UNICEF across sixteen districts to improve quality of care in government hospitals.
Stories from the Kondgoan SNCU: