In Kerala, a government Primary Health Centre gets a new face with the intervention of Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, an NRI entrepreneur from the state and Chairman and Managing Director of VPS Healthcare. VHS Healthcare, a leading healthcare service provider in GCC nations and India, had rebuilt the Vazhakkad primary health Centre in Malappuram district, Kerala, which had been destroyed during the deadly floods of 2018.
The renovated family health centre at Vazhakkad is equipped with the most advanced technology to serve the poor and marginalised people. The primary health centre, which is upgraded as a family health centre, was reconstructed at Rs 10 crore and is the first of its kind in the country to promote total health and wellness. The open gym and a play area for children and are disabled-friendly.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the new facilities on July 24. The eco-friendly, energy-efficient structure had been designed by the students and faculty of IIT-Madras and the Government Engineering College, Thrissur.
“Vazhakkad is home to ordinary people who had relied on the primary health centre for most of their routine medical check-ups and needs,” said Dr K. Sakeena, District Medical Officer. “The facility used to attend to around 75,000 people annually. Now renamed Family Health Centre, it is expected to see around 200,000 patients a year. This figure underscores the significance of the centre in the lives of the people here. It is also a testament to the quality of the services provided at the facility.”
“The district health department and the people of Vazhakkad are profoundly happy,” Dr Sakeena said.
“The reconstruction of the ruined health centre was our dream. The people here have been longing for the accomplishment of the project. The health centre will also strengthen our relentless efforts to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. We will always be grateful to Dr Shamsheer Vayalil for his support,” Dr Sakeena added.
The rebuilding had been done hand in hand with the Aardram mission of the Left Democratic Front government in Kerala. Aardram mission, one of the ambitious projects of the state government, made a significant change in the health sector of the state, upgrading the government hospitals in every nook and corner of the state. Under the project, many primary health centres have been lifted as family health centres.
VPS Healthcare’s Vazhakkad project has been in line with the state government’s vision. With its vast international experience, the healthcare group has ensured the family health centre measures up to the highest global standards. Putting the Vazhakkad project in perspective, healthcare expert and the state’s former additional chief secretary (health and family welfare), Rajeev Sadanandan, said it highlights the extensive scope of the Aardram Mission.
“When the Kerala government decided to transform the Primary Health Centres into Family Health Centres as part of the Aardram Mission, it was planned to be financed with state and local government funds, and supported by civil society,” said Rajeev Sadanandan, former additional chief secretary (health and family welfare) in Kerala.
“In some panchayats, however, this plan was disrupted by the disastrous floods in 2018. That is when, based on his considerable expertise in the health sector, Dr Shamsheer decided to build an institution in Vazhakkad that matches international specifications as part of his CSR initiative,” Sadanandan added.