Dr. Henk Bekedam, the World Health Organization (WHO) Representative to India accompanied by a team from WHO India including Dr. Debashish Roy,Regional Team Leader,East and Officials of Health Department, Govt of Assam, visited a Boat Clinic health camp on October 5, 2016, to observe the unique work being done by these Clinics for the marginalized river island dwellers of the Brahmaputra. This innovative health outreach intervention of C-NES is in partnership with NHM, Governemnt of Assam. It is an effort at ensuring that entitlements reach those along the last miles for the Sustainable Development Goals. It is also an example of best practices under very challenging conditions.
The camp was held at Bhokuamari Char/island under Chhaygaon Block of Kamrup (Rural) district. The island has a population of around 1600 people and the inhabitants are engaged mainly in agriculture and cattle rearing. Some go to urban areas to work as daily wage labourers. It was a hot and humid day as the visitors led by the health team walked into the interior village to where the health camp was held. Dr. Bekedam observed different aspects of health camp and also interacted with the local ASHAs, village headman and others. He added “For health to improve we need to bring quality services closer to people. The Ships of Hope (Boat Clinics) are exactly doing that”.
It may be mentioned that Dr. Bekedam is the first WHO representative to visit Assam and the Northeast region. The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health. It was established on 7 April 1948, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
Dr.Henk Bekedam, the World Health Organization (WHO) Representative to India sharing his thoughts after the visit