As a young, brilliant pediatrician, Dr. Sailakshmi Balijepally started her career working in government hospitals where she observed great inequality in the healthcare system.
Day after day she had to inform parents that their children were critically ill or required expensive treatments and procedures, knowing that many could not even afford three meals a day.
She witnessed many children become victims to the inefficiencies of the healthcare system and watched as doctors accepted preventable deaths as a routine problem of an overburdened healthcare system. Hospitals were filled to capacity with sick children sleeping on the floor. Many units did not have adequate staff, medicines, and life saving equipment.
Dr. Sai would not accept these circumstances. In 2009, she established EKAM Foundation with the firm conviction that NO child should be deprived of health care due to financial difficulties or other constraints. Since then, EKAM has grown into a global non-profit organization focused on improving pediatric and maternal health among the poorest in India by making healthcare inclusive, accountable, and effective.
EKAM, meaning “oneness,” represents the connection of all living beings. This vision propels EKAM staff and volunteers to work tirelessly toward providing compassionate care for ALL. Every life matters and all children have the right to health care. In this spirit of unity, let’s work together to accomplish this mission.
“ I strongly believe that we need to do service (SEWA) with pure intention and unconditionality”
Ekam Improves Health Outcomes in India
- Operating an extensive referral program and 24/7 helpline to provide immediate hospitalization support to children and mothers in need, at minimal or no cost to the patient.
- Taking a holistic approach to maternal and child health by promoting emotional, spiritual, social, and physical wellness and recognizing the intrinsic links between health and other factors such as education, nutrition, sanitation, and social development.
- Making healthcare more efficient by connecting stakeholders including local communities, public health bodies, the government, corporate groups, schools, universities, and healthcare providers.
- Partnering with government hospitals to identify and fill gaps in the public healthcare system by leveraging existing resources, strengthening hospital administration, and recruiting and training doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals.
- Addressing the major governance and management failures responsible for the poor quality of care—namely drug supply, equipment maintenance, diagnostic capability, and staffing issues.
- Facilitating community training and providing local communities with curriculum to empower them to maintain a healthy lifestyle and make informed decisions about their health.
- Promoting preventative healthcare by conducting screening camps in collaboration with government District Early Referral Centers (DEIC).
Dr. Sai and EKAM Foundations work in India has inspired many around the world. EKAM USA was established in 2009 as a non-profit to support the vision and mission of EKAM foundation. EKAM USA created the EKAM Youth Ambassador program. The EYA’s are the driving force behind EKAM USA and are involved in spreading the word about EKAM. They plan and execute different kind of events, activities and workshops and also conduct fund collection drives.