Global Health Mission
The SSSIO provides free and timely healthcare for the needy with adherence to the principles of Sai Ideal Healthcare. The SSSIO continues to practise, promote, and facilitate Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s global healthcare mission.
Medical services are rendered in the following areas and examples of various global humanitarian services are described below:
- Medical and Dental rotations of doctors and other healthcare professionals in Sri Sathya Sai Hospitals in India and Medical Camps in Prasanthi Nilayam.
- Medical, Dental, Vision, Health Awareness and Veterinary Camps.
- Mobile and Permanent Medical Clinics.
- Specialised Procedures and Surgeries (including eye, dental, cardiac, and gynaecological surgeries, and endoscopy procedures).
- Blood Donation Camps and Bone Marrow Drives.
- Medical Relief following natural disasters.
- Telemedicine patient care, education and teaching programmes for physicians and other healthcare professionals globally, including Sri Sathya Sai Hospitals.
- Medical Conferences.
During the reporting period from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020, approximately 108,967 people were served in 47 countries through 215 medical camps, 44 permanent medical clinics, and 2 mobile clinics.
SSSIO members organised 337 blood donation camps and drives globally where 21,790 donors gave blood.
Special services rendered include cataract, uterine fibroid, and urological surgeries as well as hospice care.
Health education programmes were included as part of medical camps. In addition, a total of 52 programmes were organised, which served 2,321 people.
A total of 995 animals received medical care at 8 veterinary camps.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, medical activities were restricted globally during the first quarter of 2020 of this reporting period.
SSSIO Medical Services in Prasanthi Nilayam
Healthcare professionals joined in medical and dental rotations of doctors in Sri Sathya Sai Hospitals in India and in medical camps held in Prasanthi Nilayam . The SSSIO coordinated Medical and Dental Rotations of overseas doctors and dentists in the Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital (SSSGH) and the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences (SSSIHMS) in Whitefield and Puttaparthi along with conducting medical camps in Prasanthi Nilayam. A summary of the services provided is shown below.
|July 13-17, 2019||3,251||46||62||17|
|November 18-25, 2019||7,720||46||43||14|
During the reporting period, approximately 5,204 patients were served through 27 medical camps and six permanent medical clinics. Ten blood donation camps and drives were conducted resulting in 434 blood donations. There were 19 health education and awareness programmes offered to 334 people.
On 14 April 2019, a mental health awareness presentation was made at the Sathya Sai Centre of Vancouver and an eight-week course on stress alleviation was introduced.
Workshop - Living Life to the Full
From April to June 2019 and January to March 2020, the SSSIO of Canada partnered with Canadian Mental Health Association to organise a Cognitive Therapy Workshop for mental health. The course helped participants understand the connection between their feelings, thoughts, and behaviours.
Bone Marrow Drive
A bone marrow drive was held across Canada in January 2020 by three Sathya Sai Centres (Scarborough, York, and Vancouver). About 100 new Young Adults were registered.
Six permanent medical clinics, two in California and one each in Colorado, Georgia, Florida, and New Jersey, served 1,983 patients. A total of 24 medical camps were organised across the country for the benefit of 2,738 patients.
The Clinic at United Methodist Church, Pleasantville, New Jersey runs on the fourth Wednesday of each month and a total of about 180 patients are served annually.
Since July 2018, the Sathya Sai Centre of Atlanta has provided healthcare for uninsured, low-income families. The SAI clinic has provided consultations and distributed medicines for over 200 patients, provided vision screenings for 115 patients, and distributed glasses to 75 patients in partnership with the Lions Club.
Four dental hygiene and dental treatment camps were organised at the Pinellas County Health Department in St. Petersburg, Florida in April 2019, June 2019, August 2019, and February 2020. Service included dental treatment, including extractions and dental fillings, routine health checks, and distribution of dental hygiene products.
SSSIO in collaboration with others conducted a free eye camp in Clearwater, Florida on 21 September 2019, serving 105 patients. Blood pressure and blood sugar checks and vision tests were conducted. Reading and prescription eyeglasses were provided.
In addition, a free podiatry camp was organised in collaboration with other organisations on 19 October 2019, serving 190 people. Services included general check-ups, foot care, and foot problem preventive education. Patients were fitted with new shoes, two pairs of socks, sunglasses, and a hat.
On 12 October 2019, Sathya Sai Free Health Fair was held in St. Ann, Missouri. About 160 people, including 58 children, were provided comprehensive health screening services. They were also educated on how to prevent pollution, reduce alcohol and substance abuse. To promote children’s safety, about 38 bicycle helmets were distributed to children and four defective infant car seats were replaced.
A ”Heal the Healer” retreat was held on 19 October 2019 in Chicago, Illinois where healthcare professionals and others learnt spiritual practices that may be incorporated into personal wellness and professional practice in healthcare.
The Ashland Free Medical Clinic in San Lorenzo, California has provided free primary care and dermatology services to 22,009 patients since 2005. New services started in 2018 included free dental services referrals, onsite general surgery, and ENT consultations. On 10 August 2019, the Clinic partnered with other organisations to conduct a free eye camp, where 66 people received eye examinations and 35 people received eyeglasses.
In Austin, Texas, two Women’s Wellness Camps were organised on 20 April 2019 and 16 November 2019, by the SSSIO in conjunction with the Volunteer Health Clinic. During these camps, 84 women received blood tests for cholesterol and blood glucose followed by pap smears and breast examinations. The women also received personal hygiene care bags.
On 21 July 2019, in the small agricultural and fishing village of Kroonenburg, a medical camp was organised. Food hampers were also distributed to the needy.
Trinidad and Tobago
On 23 and 24 November 2019, two medical camps were organised by the SSSIO of Los Gallos, in collaboration with other organisations, where 450 people received healthcare.
SSSIO volunteers held 11 medical camps, serving 714 people as well as 73 animals. In three permanent medical clinics, doctors saw a total of 1,972 patients. In addition, 2 veterinary camps were held, serving 302 animals. In Panama, 16 cataract surgeries were performed.
In November 2019, medical services were provided to 103 people including 42 children who were affected by dengue in Santo Domingo Oeste. Patients were also educated on hygiene to avoid the spread of dengue in the community, and 100 mosquito nets were distributed.
A permanent medical clinic was established to provide low-income communities with general and specialty medical services along with free medicines. SSSIO volunteers served a total of 164 patients during this reporting period.
In Mexico, 7 medical camps were conducted in three low-income neighbourhoods, where 145 patients received medical care.
The SSSIO operated two permanent medical clinics, one at the Sathya Sai Community Centre in Iztapalapa, and another at the Sathya Sai Centre in Querétaro, where 1,808 patients received medical services.
Two veterinary camps were held and 302 pets were examined during this reporting period.
SSSIO volunteers served 512 people in 11 medical camps in South America. In five permanent medical clinics, 1,129 patients were served. In addition, 47 animals received medical attention in a veterinary camp.
SSSIO healthcare professionals provided medical services regularly in 4 permanent medical clinics in five provinces of Argentina, serving 1,129 patients. Additionally, one medical camp and one veterinary camp were held serving 38 people and 47 animals, respectively.
SSSIO healthcare professionals provided medical services in three communities located on the northeastern region in Brazil. About 17 doctors offered their services to 341 patients, including the elderly, adults and children. 105 volunteers measured blood pressure, and delivered medication and clothes.
The SSSIO held vision camps on four separate days during November – December 2019 and February – March 2020, where a total of 65 cataract surgeries were performed.
In Caracas, on 19 July 2019, 8 dental extractions were carried out for Young Adults and on 1 November 2019, free cataract surgeries were performed for 20 low-income patients.
During this reporting period, 13 medical camps were organised, providing healthcare to 4,479 people. Medical professionals served 119 people in a permanent medical clinic. The SSSIO participated in 14 blood donation drives, where 546 volunteers donated blood. In addition, 17 health education programmes were offered, to increase health awareness for 922 people.
From 28 April to 3 May 2019, SSSIO volunteers from New Zealand and Fiji took part in the 14th Annual Medical Camp in Fiji, serving 3,014 needy patients in the island of Viti Levu. A total of 282 patients were referred to local medical institutions for further care. On 27 April 2019, two medical education classes were offered to medical students and doctors at the University of Fiji; 200 medical students and 5 doctors attended these classes.
SSSIO members from Australia and Fiji conducted medical camps between 12 and 16 August 2019 at the Dreketi Central College and at Korotari Arya Primary School in Fiji, serving 1,033 patients. Eight general surgeries were conducted, including seven laparoscopic cholecystectomies and one subtotal cholecystectomy. Dental services were provided to 324 patients including restorative and rehabilitative procedures and instructions in dental hygiene. A mental health camp was also organised along with a women’s clinic. A medical conference was held on Age Care at the University of Fiji, Saweni Campus, Lautoka on 16 August 2019 for local general practitioners and medical students.
In May 2019, SSSIO volunteers performed endoscopies and did gastrointestinal consultations for 30 patients at three medical camps and three hospitals, including Lautoka Hospital, Sigatoka Hospital and Tavua Hospital in Fiji.
In June 2019, the Sai Medical Unit Australia organised a seminar on healthy ageing for 74 people in collaboration with the Sathya Sai Centre of Hurstville, and RAIN (Resourceful Australian Indian Network), which supports seniors of Indian origin, in Georges River Council. Presentations were given on infectious diseases and immunisation, fitness and fall prevention, and advance care planning.
The SSSIO of Zone 4A organised 52 medical camps, serving 9,417 people, and provided healthcare to 13,920 patients at 12 permanent medical clinics. One mobile clinic was deployed to serve 2,836 needy patients in distant or inaccessible locations. A total of 26 blood donation drives were conducted, where 1,342 volunteers donated blood.
The SSSIO of Nepal has established permanent medical clinics, mobile medical van services, and has organised medical camps, blood donation camps, and an animal health camp.
SSSIO doctors served 10,651 patients at five permanent medical clinics in Nepal, while 2,836 patients were provided healthcare through mobile medical vans in remote, rural areas.
About 3,464 patients were served in 22 medical camps, and 1,010 pints of blood were collected from 1,010 donors during 19 blood donation drives.
An animal health camp was organised for 201 animals in the eastern part of the country.
SSSIO volunteers conducted 112 eye surgeries and provided financial support for those who needed surgeries in low-income communities.
The SSSIO operated six permanent clinics, serving 2,669 patients during this reporting period. In addition, 4,699 people were seen in 20 medical camps. Cataract surgeries were performed on 900 patients. Medical care is also offered throughout the year in an Elderly Home in Colombo and a Cancer Hospice in Hanwella.
Seven blood donation drives were conducted, with 332 blood donors. Three health education programmes were organised for the benefit of about 120 people. A veterinary camp was held, where 96 animals received medical care.
During the annual Esala festival in southeast Sri Lanka, during 10–16 July 2019, around 1,650 pilgrims were served in a medical camp.
On 13 September 2019, the SSSIO held a medical camp in the remote village of Malligaitheevu in Northern Sri Lanka. Healthcare professionals provided services to more than 235 people.
The Sathya Sai Centre of Veeramuani held a workshop on 24 January 2020 on the effects of drug and alcohol consumption for 16 parents and 55 students from Grade 8 to 12 studying at Vani Maha Vidyalayam (National School) from 4th Colony village in Ampara district.
In March 2020, three COVID-19 related health educational sessions were held in a village adopted by the SSSIO, benefitting 120 people.
The SSSIO of Zone 4B held 23 medical camps, where 4,070 people received healthcare. Additionally, six permanent medical clinics and one mobile clinic served an estimated 13,883 and 11,089 patients, respectively. Three health education programmes were organised for the benefit of 156 people. A summary, by country, is presented below.
The medical clinic at the Sathya Sai Centre of Klang in the state of Selangor provides ongoing medical services. A total of 19 blood donation camps were organised in collaboration with the national blood bank, and 4,383 volunteers donated blood. In addition, 10 medical camps were organised, where 1,049 patients were served.
On 15 September 2019, about 200 people attended a medical conference on the theme, How Not to Fall Sick, at the University of Malaya.
SSSIO healthcare professionals operated five permanent clinics, serving 13,738 patients. One mobile clinic was used to bring medical services to about 11,089 people. Eight medical camps were organised during this time period, where a total of 769 patients received medical services. Four blood donation camps were supported by 1,355 donors.
During 5–7 September 2019, SSSIO volunteers, including doctors and specialists from Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia travelled across the South China Sea to extremely needy communities in the interiors of the Lao Cai district. In collaboration with a local organisation, community leaders, clinics, and others, SSSIO volunteers provided medical services to 1,108 people along with preventive care and health awareness advice. Dental services were provided to 699 people.
The SSSIO of Taiwan has been organising blood donation drives for over 20 years. On 4 August 2019, 40 volunteers, including Young Adults and Sai Spiritual Education (SSE) students, and on 9 February 2020, 16 volunteers conducted blood donation drives outside Carrefour supermarket in Tianmu (Taipei) in which 209 units of blood were collected. Students and SSSIO volunteers enthusiastically marched in the neighbourhood, holding posters inviting people to donate blood.
At the Mother Sai House in Italy, a general practitioner routinely provided healthcare for the disabled and the elderly on a monthly basis. The medical service included monitoring, surveillance, general educational and psychological counselling and also administration of medications as needed – approximately 120 people were served annually.
The SSSIO organised a Medical Camp at Dubeninki, in the Northern part of Poland. At the request of the governor of the province, 40 SSSIO volunteers from Poland, Germany and UK assisted in healthcare, educational, humanitarian and construction services during 23–30 June 2019. Medical services were provided to 481 patients.
In Zone 8, four medical camps were held, and 3,605 people were served. Three health education programmes were organised, with participation by 156 people.
On 15 and 16 April 2019, a two-day International Continuing Medical Education (CME) Conference was conducted at the Ahmet Yesevi University, Turkestan City, Kazakhstan in collaboration with the local University. Various topics, including ideal health care, humanism in medicine, and model for universal healthcare, were covered for faculty physicians, resident trainees, and medical students from the University. Visiting physicians provided free consultations to many patients.
From 5 to 15 August 2019, an international medical camp was organised in the Leningrad region. More than 50 volunteers including medical professionals from UK, USA, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Russia served 2,525 people. In addition, 569 eyeglasses were distributed. Two patients who lost the ability to ambulate independently were presented with wheelchairs. Two additional medical camps were held between 29 May and 4 June 2019 and 26 to 27 October 2019, where 125 people received medical care.
From 27 June to 7 July 2019, an international medical camp was conducted in the Sumy region. Medical professionals and volunteers from UK, Germany, USA, Belarus, and Ukraine served 955 people. Additionally, a health seminar was organised for local doctors. A seminar was given to volunteers on healthy living.
During the reporting period, 50 medical camps were organised, serving 11,674 people. Healthcare professionals served 19,587 patients at nine permanent medical clinics. A total of 238 blood donation drives were conducted successfully with the help of 12,843 blood donors. In addition, 348 animals received medical care at two veterinary camps.
In Botswana, 2,899 patients were served at the permanent clinic which is open every Sunday. On 7 July 2019, at the 5th Annual Sai Student Vision Camp, about 6,500 students from four schools received eye examinations. The camp was inaugurated by His Excellency Mr. Slumber Tsogwane, Vice President of the Republic of Botswana and Dr. Rajesh Ranjan, the Honourable High Commissioner of India to Botswana. Following initial screening at the schools, a total of 419 students were further examined and received free eyeglasses.
A permanent clinic, which operates six days a week, served 11,131 patients. One blood donation camp was organised with 12 blood donors. Four medical/eye camps were organised for the benefit of 860 patients – with more details given below.
On 12 May 2019, health checks were conducted for 200 patients at a medical camp.
On 19 May 2019, a Sai Vision Camp was conducted at the Kaloleni Primary School in Kilifi County, where 171 people were screened for eye diseases and diabetes. Patients were counselled and advised on the importance of correct diet and exercise. Nine people underwent successful cataract surgery.
On 10 November 2019, the SSSIO of Kenya organised a free dental and medical camp in Nairobi, serving 264 patients. Of these, eye examinations were conducted for 115 patients and 29 people received reading glasses.
On 8 March 2020, a Sai Vision camp was organised at the Malindi District Hospital in Malindi. A total of 225 people were screened, and 30 cataract surgeries were performed.
The permanent clinic located at the Sathya Sai Centre of Tana, served 1,071 patients. A deworming and anti-lice treatment camp was held from 21 to 23 January 2020, benefiting 126 students.
A dental camp was organised on 16 February 2020, serving 102 patients, with dental extraction for 90 people.
A total of 50 Blood donation drives were held in which, 4,618 people donated blood. SSSIO of Mauritius contributed 12% of the country’s blood requirements. On 15 June 2019, SSSIO of Mauritius received an award in recognition for its significant contribution to the country’s blood requirements by His Excellency, Paramasivum Pillay Vyapoory, G.O.S.K., acting President of the Republic of Mauritius.
Many children had previously received eye and dental check-ups at a medical camp in a public school in Tamazouzt. As a follow-up, another medical camp was organised on 20 April 2019, with the help of the Ministry of Health and in collaboration with a local organisation. A total of 352 children were screened and 88 dental extractions were performed. In addition, 64 children received glasses and eye surgeries were performed for three children.
From 28 September to 3 October 2019, a team of medical doctors from Greece lovingly known as the “Heart Doctors” (named by Sri Sathya Sai Baba) organised four medical camps in Lagos, serving a total of 1,462 patients.
SSSIO of South Africa provided healthcare services to needy communities across three major provinces of South Africa. About 4,486 patients were seen in six permanent clinics in South Africa which operate on a weekly or monthly basis. The SSSIO South Africa organised a total of 34 medical camps, where 1,712 patients received medical services. Following tradition, 181 blood donation camps were held, in which 8,020 pints of blood were collected.
A medical camp is held every other month in the village of Embo in Umgababa, KwaZulu-Natal province. In the camp organised on 24 November 2019, 150 patients were served.
A major medical camp is hosted each year by the Kinross Sathya Sai Centre in Mpumalanga province. It serves a large rural settlement, with the support of SSSIO members from the Mpumalanga and Gauteng regions and local volunteers. The camp was organised on 26 May 2019.
In two veterinary clinics, 348 pets were examined. Rabies vaccines were administered, and the animals were dewormed. Pet owners received pet food and advice on animal care.
Two eye camps were organised between 17 and 22 July 2019 where 100 patients were screened, and 139 surgeries were performed. In a third eye camp conducted on 20 October 2019, 460 patients were screened. A blood donation camp was conducted on 17 November 2019 during which 32 pints of blood was donated by 32 donors.
During the reporting period, a total of 19 medical camps were organised, serving 2,421 people. One permanent medical clinic has served 989 patients. In addition, 20 blood donation drives were organised, where 531 people donated blood. Health education awareness programmes were included as part of medical camps.
In Abu Dhabi, 380 people were served during three medical camps adhering to the Department of Health regulations. As part of the Easwaramma Day celebrations, first aid kits were distributed in three labour camps to 650 people.
In Kuwait, the SSSIO held five medical camps, where a total of 1,254 people were served. During two blood donation drives, 283 volunteers donated blood. Five medical camps were held. In one medical camp, a total of 970 patients were consulted by over 45 medical specialists. In all other camps, along with basic screening, health education sessions were also held; of these, one camp was a focused camp that included dental hygiene counselling and education for special needs children and their parents.
A permanent clinic serves patients once a month and served a total of 989 patients.
UK & Ireland
The SSSIO of UK held six medical camps where 746 people received services. Fifteen donors participated in a bone marrow drive. Health education awareness programmes were included as part of medical camps. In addition, four health education and awareness programmes were organised for 239 people.
SSSIO of UK members conducted Sathya Sai Health Awareness Days and medical camps in partnership with various organisations throughout the year. These events were intended to:
- Raise awareness of commonly occurring illnesses, and how they can be prevented by leading healthier lifestyles.
- Screen for commonly occurring illnesses.
- Guide individuals to local services where they can get further medical assistance.
The SSSIO of UK has established relationships with a number of local authorities, government agencies, and charities through this programme and many events are hosted regularly, at the request of local authorities. The town or city’s Mayor and local dignitaries inaugurate these events and participate in them.