Charitable Health Center, Balighai, Orissa

Initially the Balighai health center was open one day a week to provide free medical care. Due to the growing demand for medical care, a permanent health center building was constructed in Balighai (13 km from Puri) in 2000 with the financial support of Hand in Hand. The new permanent facility had rudimentary medical equipment and a large waiting room, two examination rooms, a pharmacy, and a four-bed ward for emergency inpatient treatment.

Demand for the health center's services again exceeded supply. In 2001 the center began functioning five days per week and employed a doctor, a pharmacist, and other medical staff. From 1999 to 2008, over 194,000 people were served at the center, with and average of 30,000 per annum since 2004.

In 2006 a second floor was added to the main building, offering specialist physician and medical services in the areas of pathology, general medicine, surgery, radiology, pediatrics, and gynecology. An x-ray unit has been put in place, and x-ray services started in 2007.

Pathology Laboratory

Since there are no pathology laboratories located in the Balighai area, Prajnana Mission opened a pathology laboratory at the health center in July 2002. The laboratory is equipped for routine sample analysis and is served by qualified laboratory technicians. The patients are greatly benefited from this service, because they can get laboratory results and the necessary treatment quickly without having to travel long distances, which is not always possible. Laboratory testing and investigations are provided to thousands of patients every year.

Ambulance Service

In 2002, an ambulance was financed by Hand in Hand. The ambulance is operated from the health center in Balighai and provides transportation for acute cases to the hospital in Puri. In serious circumstances patients are taken to the city hospital in Cuttack.

Annual Numbers of Patients Treated Since 1999

Year Number of Patients
2006 36,598
2005 29,608
2004 27,102
2003 22,749
2002 12,432
2001 11,002
2000 18,160
1999 7,084
Total 200,000