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|Focus||Development of sustainable healthcare facilities for underprivileged communities|
|Method||Traditional forms of healthcare including naturopathy|
Moringa Project is an Australia-based nonprofit charitable organization committed to the development of sustainable healthcare facilities for underprivileged communities. Moringa Project's current campaign is the development of a sustainable clinic in Jharkhand, India.
The Pundag clinic was treating up to 70 patients a day and the volunteers were confronted with a wide range of ailments from simple aches and pains to very complicated disorders and pathologies. The lack of facilities in the area saw patients travelling for up to three days to seek treatment.
The manager of the acupuncture clinic then took the volunteers to the even more remote village of Datom, to treat people who previously had never received any kind of medical treatment due to their isolation and poverty. Datom is a remote village located in the state of Jharkhand. With no medical facilities within a 100 km radius, the people of the area are in desperate need of healthcare. On arriving, the volunteers were shown to a dilapidated hut that was to be their clinic. Immediately the volunteers were overwhelmed with patients. There was an evident need for a healthcare clinic.
After seeing the success of the acupuncture clinic in Pundag, and the need for another clinic in Datom, Traditional Healthcare was established shortly after arriving back in Australia. The aim was to start construction of the Datom clinic in January 2010 and to raise $50,000AU to build and fit out the facility.
Changing its name in 2013, Traditional Healthcare, now Moringa Project, is run by Melbourne volunteers, who are not affiliated with any religious bodies.
Moringa Project endeavours to be self-sufficient by using wind and solar power, water conservation, permaculture, sustainable architecture, recycled materials and traditional medicines. The aim of Moringa Project is not to be completely dependent on continual funding of each clinic, as the goal is self-sufficiency.
An educational component is essential to the sustainability of the clinics. The educational program consists of two core elements: community education and practitioner training.
Moringa Project's buildings are designed according to environmentally sustainable principles. For example, the current project in Jharkhand (India) will be built with local renewable resources and be powered by solar and wind generators.
Practitioner training will be provided at all of the facilities. First aid and hygiene will be taught at all facilities. Other programs will include acupuncture training (basic and advanced), herbal medicine, massage, mid-wifery, permaculture, and medicinal herb cultivation.
A practitioner provides an acupuncture service to the inhabitants of the village, however with no clinical facilities the number of patients treated in one day is rather limited. Those in need are treated in their houses in need in return for a small donation, as there are no other available healthcare facilities within approximately a 100 km radius.
The new facility is designed according to Moringa Project's principles of sustainability, incorporating environmental architecture and renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. The clinic will be able to treat up to 20 people at one time, allowing the treatment of up to 300 people per day. To begin with, the clinic will focus on acupuncture as the primary treatment because resources and practitioners are already available. However, Moringa Project wants to expand to incorporate a wider range of treatments. A class room, co-ordinator's office, medicinal herb garden and volunteer accommodation has been incorporated into the design. Construction began in January 2010 and continues with a team working in Datom during January 2012.
More charitable projects are being planned.