The Math and the Mission together have 173 branch centres all over India and in different parts of the world. The Headquarters of these centres are situated in Belur Math.
Rural Health Programme
Rural Health Programme
The Rural Health Programme is meant for rendering free medical services to the suffering people residing in rural areas around Lucknow. It began again from the auspicious day of Buddha Purnima, on 20 May 1989, in Heerpur Village, Ataria, District Sitapur, about 40 kms away from Lucknow. A donated DCM Toyota Van, built to serve the purpose of a mobile dispensary, along with a grant of Rs. 10,000/- was instrumental in the restart. Since then, the Rural Health Programme (RHP) has made great strides. With the increase in the number of patients and services, the grant has recently been increased per month. However, the amount falls far short of the expensesto cover for medicines given to increasingly large number of patients coming from far and near.
A thorough check-up
The Rural Health Programme Medical Team visits the villages four times a week - Heerpur (Atariya, Distt. Sitapur) twice a week and Ram Van Kutir (Distt. Barabanki) once a week, Pahar Nagar and Katra Bakkas (Distt. Lucknow) once a week, Apart from this team, each week, doctors from Gynae, Opthalmic and Dental Departments also visit these sites once a week.
Besides attending to the general patients, other programmes for the benefit of the people of the villages were also undertaken. Immunization programme was started with effect from 1989. DPT (Triple Antigen), oral Polio vaccine to infants and children, and Tetanus Toxoid to pregnant women are since being given. Children are immunized as part of the Pulse Polio Programme. Special emphasis is being laid on family welfare and family planning to the rural folk who attend our camps. To address the eye problems of villagers, an eye care van, procurred from the funds received from the Blind Foundation for India, goes with an Ophthalmologist and other staff to Ram Van Kutir, once in a week.
Distribution of medicines
The first Telemedicine Link between urban and rural medical centres through internet and mobile phone facilities was launched by Ramakrishna Mission in collaboration with Media Lab Asia of IIT, Kanpur, by providing video conferencing facilities between the specialist clinicians at the hospital and the suffering patients in the villages. This enables the specialist clinicians to make their services available to the remote rural population who are unable to reach them due to economic and logistic constraints. The Programme, now connects Vivekananda Polyclinic with its rural health centre at Ram Van Kurtir in Barabanki District, is expected to extend to other rural areas as well in the near future.
Mobile medical van
Vivekananda Polyclinic covers yet another milestone by way of providing pathological investigation and dental procedure to its village patients located at distant rural areas through its Mobile Medical Service.
Sample collection & Recording
On all the four days of the week (Mon, Wed, Thurs & Saturdays) blood samples are collected from the patients as per the advise of the doctors of our Mobile Medical Team. The samples are investigated at the Central Pathological Laboratory of the Polyclinic and the report is made available to the patients by the next visit. The stool & urine samples are investigated by our Paramedical staff on spot at the Village Health Centres itself. This has resulted in a great saving of time and money for the poor village patients. Moreover, it has enabled our doctors to treat the patient more effectively with precision and cost, otherwise the patients were required to come all the way to the city diagnostic centres or remain satisfied with the reports of local sub-standard clinics.
A free eye camp
Our Village Health Programme has already been catering to dental patients of Sitapur district twice a month (alternate Saturdays) at Ataria. However, the treatment has so far been restricted to medications only. On the 4th of June 2005, a Hydraulic Dental Chair has been installed at the Ataria village centre from where tooth extraction and othe dental procedures are being done free of cost to the patients. Complicated cases requiring RCT, Filling etc. however are being referred to the base hospital at Vivekananda Polyclinic on the following week. The extended dental services have already received wide appreciation from the village population.