GKF’s Public Outreach Health Programs: Creating a Healthier Community in Jammu and Kashmir
The Gauri Kaul Foundation (GKF) has been spearheading several public outreach health programs in Jammu and Kashmir. These initiatives have transformed the health of the public in the region by promoting awareness, prevention, and early intervention in health issues.
Weekly Newsletter for Senior Citizens:
GKF’s weekly newsletter for senior citizens titled” Senior Citizens Lounge” has been a game-changer in the region.
The newsletter focuses on health and social issues that affect seniors, including dementia, arthritis, and loneliness.
The newsletter has helped seniors stay informed and connected with their community. It also provides valuable tips on how to stay healthy, including exercise routines and healthy eating habits.
Heart Health Awareness Articles:
GKF’s heart health awareness articles in leading newspapers have had a tremendous impact on the public. The articles provide important information on the risk factors associated with heart disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking. They also provide tips on how to prevent heart disease, including healthy eating habits and regular exercise. The articles have also helped to dispel myths and misconceptions about heart disease, such as the belief that it only affects older people.
Awareness Interviews and Programs about Overall Health:
GKF’s awareness interviews and programs about overall health on TV and electronic media have been a huge success. These programs feature experts discussing various health issues, including diabetes, communicable and non-communicable diseases, health of elderly, and mental health.
The programs provide valuable information on prevention, early intervention, and treatment options. They have also helped to reduce stigma around certain health issues, such as mental health.
Many people have reported making positive changes to their lifestyle after watching these programs, such as adopting healthier eating habits and seeking treatment for health issues they were previously reluctant to discuss.
A Heart for Giving: The Financials of the GKF
The Gauri Kaul Foundation is a non-profit organization that operates on the principle of providing affordable and accessible health care to underprivileged individuals.
The GKF operates on a unique model where all the income from Gauri Heart Centre and Prasad Joo Khan Heart Centre goes into the foundation. Both centres are owned and operated by the foundation. In addition to this, the foundation receives donations from individuals who share the same vision.
The foundation’s expenses primarily consist of maintenance of the two heart centres, salaries of doctors and staff, and repairs and infrastructural development of the health centres.
A significant part of the expenses is incurred in providing free healthcare to the underprivileged and running media outreach programs. These free facilities include free consultations, free investigations, and free medicines. The foundation also provides home-based care, health awareness and palliative care to patients, especially for senior citizens, and provide tele-health facilities to neglected elderly patients.
GKF offered complimentary healthcare services to marginalised communities and spearheaded various public outreach initiatives, to the tune of Rs. 11,13,773 (more than Rs 11 lacks) during 2022-2023.
Future Plans of GKF
To develop a comprehensive screening program for heart health among IV drug users by developing a screening program that targets young IV drug users who are at risk for cardiac problems.
Increase awareness and screening for common diseases among rural populations:
Provide support for neglected elderly: The foundation would establish programs to provide healthcare services and support for neglected elderly individuals in Kashmir.
Support medical research in Kashmir: The foundation’s GRC has started to work to establish partnerships with local universities and research institutions to support medical research in Kashmir.
Adopt neglected senior citizens for healthcare support: The foundation aims to establish a program to identify and adopt neglected senior citizens who require healthcare support. This would need collaboration with local healthcare providers and community organisations.
Extending reach in North Kashmir: The plans are on to establish another centre to cater the people of North Kashmir on the same lines as in Srinagar and Pulwama.
Requisitioning for Government Land in the year 2023-2024 for establishing a bigger facility for cardiology including for old-age diseases.
Extending, the “No Heart Attack mission” beyond UT
Prof Upendra Kaul, Padmashiri and Dr B C Roy Award awardee, is the Founder Director, Gauri Kaul Foundation
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.