Chatra, Jharkhand: Increasing Access to Medicines with ‘Arogya Kunjis’

Nestled within 60% of forest cover, Chatra District of Jharkhand is isolated from larger towns and cities in the country. This lack of access also causes challenges in the development of the district. For instance, to access basic medicines, people need to walk 10 kilometres, to the nearest Primary Healthcare Centre.

To overcome this specific challenge of inadequate access to basic medical equipment and medicines, the District Administration along with the Aspirational District Fellows, Ashish Kumar and Neelesh Bhattacharyya, sought to make an intervention.

Arogya Kunji Kit

Process of Implementation:

The intervention was made through a three step process.

First, the District Administration, in consultation with the District Office of the Civil Surgeon, prepared a list of items to be included in a portable kit. This list was consisted of essential health items such as:

Item Type Use
Paracetamol Fever/Pain
Dicyclomine HCL Gastro-Intestinal Issues
Fradiomycin Sulphate Cream Antiseptic Pain Reliving
Pradiomycin Sulphate Cream Bacterial Infection/ Cough/Chest Infection
Povidone Iodine Ointment Antiseptic
Dried Aluminium Hydroxide Acidity/Heart burn
Zinc Sulphate Diarrhoea
Cetirizine Allergy – watery eyes, running nose, and sneezing
Domperidone Vomiting and nausea
Malaria Slides To test malaria cases
First Aid Items Spirit Bottle 400 ml, Soap, Sterilized Cotton, Band-Aid, Bandages, Crap Bandages
Additional Equipment Digital Watch, Torch, Digital Thermometer
Additional services ORS packets, Condoms, Nishay Kit for Pregnancy detection, Iron Folic tablets, Sanitary pads

Second, based on this list, 1609 kits were procured after following the due-process for procurement of medicines, with a total cost of Rs. 29,91,131. From these, Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) Funds were used to procure 953 kits. For the remining 656 kits, the District Mineral Trust Fund was utilised.

Medicines in Arogya Kunji Kits

Third, ASHA workers were equipped with these Arogya Kunjis or kits with essential medical goods and equipment. They used these kits to disseminate various medical services, or based on initial tests, could recommend better investigation at the PHC.

ASHA workers distributing medicines from Arogya Kunji Kit

Impact of the Arogya Kunji:

Since January 2019, ASHA workers have utilised the Arogya Kunjis to disseminate services to nearly 1,30,000 (one lakh and thirty thousand) persons. This kit has also helped in better referral of cases for further medical attention and is going to continue serving larger populations in the region.

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