Thursday, September 13, 2012

Trip to Shodhgram - Day 3 - Part 1

Got up at 5 am all fresh. Well, considering that I had nearly 8 hours of sleep, I'd better have done that :) Managed a full hour of Yoga, Kriya and Meditation, something that I wish I could discipline myself to do everyday, but do not manage it :(. Am hoping that two more days here gets me into it.

Immediately after breakfast I set off with a team of four people from Save the Children Foundation for a village site visit - to a village called Bodhli - 5 km from here. We were taken by Dr Paranjpe - not a medical doctor, but an expert in IPR. What does he do here? He works in the area of scaling up various areas of SEARCH's activities. How did he land up here? A few years back he visited the place. And in a year's time came to work with Dr Bang - in his own words "doing anything he can for SEARCH".

We reached the village and went to the home of an Arogyadoot (translated - it means messenger of health and wellness) - Anjanabai. She has been trained by SEARCH to handle several health problems of the residents of the village and then specially for the Home Based New Born and Child Care program. She told us how she was selected. SEARCH being sensitive to local needs, first takes a consent from the village leaders and then the families concerned. This lady's mother in law registered her for the first level training, where they are assessed for suitability of the program. She later went through more rigorous training. She demonstrated with absolute confidence, using a doll, as to how she cleaned a baby within 30 seconds of birth and if there were birth asphyxia problems, how she did suctioning and used an ambu bag to help it breathe. She also showed us various records she kept. What was her education level? She had studied upto the 7th Std!

She then took us to the home of family where a young girl had delivered a baby a few days back. She gave us a brief demonstration of how she checked on the mother by asking her about her diet, sleep etc and also about the baby. Then she showed us how she weighed the baby and did an overall checking. All this is done on several days during the 28 day neonatal period when there is a maximum chance of infection and illness mainly due to the surroundings and overall low socioeconomic background.

There is lots more information about this in the SEARCH website about the models and successes. My feelings at the end of this visit can be summarised as:

a) The young mothers and neonates in Gadchiroli get far better care than their counterparts in urban areas (especially the urban poor) thanks to numerous visits by a trained healthcare worker.

b) And if only the people in the rural areas got the right kind of education and training, there are enormous capabilities all hidden in there. Anjanabai's poise and confidence and her obvious efficiency in the healthcare she provided was a clear indication of this.


Sriganesh said...

Looks like the problem of not doing Yoga, Kriya, meditation is not with you. You just need to turn in your bed at home and see the problem.

sc said...

Vasu ma'am - pre-booking these blogs for an article :). Thanks for writing about how local solutions can help dissipate so many of the healthcare problems at the grass root level and also bridge the rural-urban resource gap.

tara said...

rather good being part of the village level medical care

here people die at 93 and still want to prolong their life with all comforts and amenities- in india people die for want of basic life sustenance
somehow there is no balance
but it is more fulfilling out there than in the uS

Vasumathi said...

Sriganesh - :)

SC - There you go again :).

Tara - I am here only as an observer, to see if I can offer my expertise in literature searching when / where they need it.
But yes - having observed and reflected, I do agree with you about the need for balance. I guess it will take time to get answers