SHAMA, Inc. (a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization)
Jagdish Chander
2460 Crescent Court, Plover WI 54467  (715) 341-1538
SVIRHC eye hospital 

Swami Vivekananda Integrated
Rural Health Centre

SHAMA, Inc. helped support the Swami Vivekananda Integrated Rural Health Centre (SVIRHC), in Pavagada Taluk in the Tumkar district of Karnataka, in southern India. (See the map of India.) The hospital was crowded with leprosy and tuberculosis projects, so in 2002 it began construction of a separate hospital for eye care. The hospital has the most up-to-date equipment and a glaucoma center, and it is the only eye hospital for a vast region. Demand for its treatment services is growing at a great rate.

SHAMA, Inc.'s contribution was directed toward this eye center. Jyoti Chander and Pat Reckrey visited the vision center in 2005 and were very impressed with their work.

Click on pictures for larger views 

Women waiting in line, patches on eye
Waiting for vision testing

Woman having vision test
Part of a vision test

Picture (100x75, 3.1Kb)
Child with new glasses

Picture (100x75, 2.9Kb)
Serving patient meal

Picture (100x75, 2.5Kb)
Eye surgery

Services of the SVIRHC include:

  • Detection of tuberculosis and leprosy -- using the following methods: a building to house health survey, health surveys in schools, general health camps, and special leprosy and TB detections camps.

  • Medication and monitoring -- carried out through directly observed treatment which monitors the taking of TB medication and its effects, reconstructive surgery for leprosy, and a blindness control program

Tuberculosis and leprosy eradiation and tuberculosis control are its areas of thrust.

Leprosy in rural India means not just a disease of the body, but a societal afflication; lepers are the worst outcastes, the cursed, and the poorest. Remote areas like Pavagada are endemic zones for leprosy. Reconstructive surgery for leprosy is vital in rehabilitation. The hospital, one of only 2 in the state that provides this treatment, is experiencing high demand for this service. Therefore, candidates for surgery are selected on a priority basis: the young and the breadwinners of families top the list.

Tuberculosis is a silent killer, especially associated with poverty and malnourishment. SVIRHC has run a program for TB management since 1992, with enough success to earn it recognition from the Government of India, under its Revised National TB Control Programme.

The blind and visually impaired are very common in these backward regions. Eye care is a vital aspect of public health care. The main objective of the Sri Sharada Devi Blindness Control Project is to conduct monthly eye exams in the interior regions and to provide postoperative intensive medical care.

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