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UAE-based group transforms primary health centre, ruined in 2018 Kerala floods, into premium health facility.
Sajila Saseendran | Gulf News
Filed on 2021-07-27 | Last updated on 2021-07-27 03:02:05

Dubai: A UAE-based health-care group has rebuilt a primary health centre in the Indian state of Kerala, which was ruined in the flash floods in 2018. Abu Dhabi-headquartered VPS Healthcare has transformed the flood-ravaged primary health centre (PHC) in Vazhakkad, a rural area in Malappuram district, into a premium family health centre (FHC), which, according to Pinarayi Vijayan, the state’s chief minister, is India’s largest. “India’s largest health centre is ready at Vazhakkad, Malappuram. Earlier PHC, destroyed in floods of 2018, is now upgraded into an FHC. Thanks to @drshamsheervp ‘s VPS Healthcare, a 15,000 sq.ft. facility with world class amenities has come up under Rebuild Kerala Initiative,” Vijayan said in a Twitter post on Wednesday.
A video of the state-of-the-art facility boasting of advanced technology, usually available only in modern hospitals, was also released by Vijayan, who is scheduled to formally inaugurate the centre on Saturday.

The Dh5 million reconstructed facility is the first-of-its-kind in the country and promotes the concept of health and wellness with an open gymnasium, play area for children and other amenities, according to VPS Healthcare.
Advanced facilities
It has an advanced laboratory, a modern imaging department, ten observation beds with oxygen concentrators and a stabilisation unit to attend to patients suffering from low oxygen saturation, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Other amenities at the FHC include an emergency room, a mini-operation theatre, doctors’ consulting rooms, a nurses’ station, medical store, vaccine store, sample collection centre, eye and dental clinic, a designated zone for mothers and children, pregnant women and the elderly. The second floor has a modern conference hall and houses the administrative offices.
It has separate and exclusive outpatient facilities for pregnant women and elderly patients, ensuring quality consultation and adequate care.
Distinct from the building that sank in the floods, the new FHC has separate drug and vaccine stores and a sample collection room. The laboratory and imaging department has modern equipment, facilitating faster and accurate results. There is a lift and a ramp to assist differently-abled patients.
Replacing the decades-old traditional building of the PHC, the new FHC building has adopted a modern structure developed by the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, in Tamil Nadu.
It was designed by a group of students from the School of Architecture and Planning at Government Engineering College, Thrissur, in Kerala.
To make the building flood-resistant, Glass Fibre Reinforced Gypsum (GFRG) panel technology known as Rapidwall has been used to build the new centre. The eco-friendly technology eliminates bricks, blocks, timber, and plasterboard linings.
Lessons from UAE experience
Speaking to Gulf News about the project, Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, chairman and managing director of VPS Healthcare, said it was the group’s experience in the UAE that helped rebuild the PHC in such a grand way. “In our 15-year-long journey, we had catered to the medical needs of millions of people and learnt many valuable lessons along the way. The experience enabled us to propose a novel health-care project for the people of Kerala,” said Dr Vayalil.