|IT is sometimes said that health produces wealth, but poor health is often a major developmental concern for people living on or below the poverty line in India. Based on this principle, KISES has undertaken several health programmes. Health is one of the neglected facets in Indian society and especially in the remote areas where adequate medical help is very scarce. Women are often the most neglected member of the family, even though they have to perform both productive and reproductive work at home.
KISES has conducted several health camps for women and children. In these health camps not only was screening by qualified medical officers available, but free medicines were also distributed. Many people live very far from health services and, due to poor economic conditions, feel they can not afford to travel to distant health centres.
Many of the elderly suffer from cataract problems and are unable to go to hospitals for surgery due to their lowly economic status. This means that they will often lose their eyesight at a very early stage. To prevent this problem, an eye camp was conducted through C.B.M. hospital, Vuyyuru, which has a good reputation after 100 years of experience. Patients were screened and referred for surgery. Following operations, their eyesight was saved.
Dental camps were also conducted for children as many living in poor communities of the children suffer from tooth and gum problems due to a lack of awareness. To raise awareness, our KISES dental camp was organized and free toothbrushes and toothpaste were distributed.
CARE & SUPPORT FOR PREGNANT & LACTATING WOMEN
Child mortality is a major concern. However, through health education it was possible for ante-natal care to be observed from conception right through to safe delivery of the child.
After the delivery, six weeks of post-natal care was providing to all lactating mothers through home visits. Part of this process included explaining personal hygiene, wrapping of the child, giving colostrums and not to bath the child for a minimum of three days. Immunisation was another vital component.
Immunisation for Children:
Immunisation is very essential to the child to avoid diseases like polio, DPT, hepatitis-B and measles, while vitamin A must also be given at the appropriate time.
The children were weighed every month and their growth patterns were explained to the parents. The main objective of this programme was to reduce child malnutrition in the operational villages.
Due to lack of awareness in the villages, no one was registering their children’s names in the concerned panchayats, meaning they lost out on Government schemes. Birth registrations were increased by conducting awareness meetings in the community. A total of 102 certificates were issued through KISES in Machilipatnam mandal to children of all ages in 10 villages. Fees were to be paid for registration of the name in the municipal records and issuance of the certificate (10 and 50 rupees respectively), but by negotiating with municipal officials KISES was able to gain exemption for all fees.
There were high numbers of child marriages in remote villages. Child marriages were reduced through awareness campaigns.
Reproductive Health services – Prevention of STI/RTI, HIV/AIDS:
HIV/AIDS was a major challenge for health promotion interventions. The most vulnerable were referred to hospitals for treatment. Awareness meetings were conducted on HIV/AIDS and counseling offered through home visits.
Personal Hygiene & Practices:
Personal hygiene is a very vital health issue. More infectious diseases are caused due to lack of personal hygiene and practices. Personal hygiene is one of the main prevention methods for sexually-transmitted diseases and the importance of personal hygiene was explaining and demonstrated during home visits.
- House visits
- Community meetings
- Referral services
CHANGES BROUGHT ABOUT IN THE COMMUNITY WITH OUR INTERVENTION:
- Accessing 100% of children for immunisation in our target area.
- Increased awareness among parents on birth registration.
- Increased institutional deliveries in the community.
- Increased exclusive breastfeeding.
- Benefits of health services provided by KISES health camps, especially for women and children.
- People accessed with usage of toilets.
- Increased the awareness on personal hygiene practices.
KISES does not confine itself to merely conducting health education meetings and camps, but aims to provide services to reach out to and benefit the whole community. There was no primary health centre within the radius of 30km (only PHC is at Guduru) and people were suffering for the lack of health services. Our KISES Health Centre can serve 20-25 nearby villages, providing a service to around 27,000 people on an ongoing basis.
The centre provides first aid and has one trained ANM (auxilary nurse), who is available to the people during the daytime. Sincere fundraising efforts are being made to ensure sustainability of the health centre and to mobilise resources like collection of free sample medicines, conducting health camps etc.
Doctors are willing to render their services free of charge as we are able to provide the necessary infrastructure.
The next stage is to source funding to allow us to operate a mobile medical unit in the area, making it easier for our health workers to reach remote and distant villages. Please visit our Project Proposals for more information.