Children are special and innocent; they spread bliss where they go. But when they become sick, it is something to worry about. Kids should smile and be carefree in their lives. Don’t we know that nurturing of a child in a responsible way will lead to proper development of children? But for that a family needs to be educated. However, our country is comprised of families who cannot reap such benefits of society. And this strata of population resides in the rural sections of our country
“With this aim we, a 24 group of young active change-makers of ‘Switch-India’ marched towards Mahuli, a village in Asangaon. The camp was organized by Trailblazers Foundation in association with Switch India. It was Zilla Parishad School where 90 odd children awaited us with utmost excitement-the zeal which matched ours as well,” said Dr Vinit Gada (PT), Founder of Switch-India.
“We were whole-heartedly welcomed by the school administration at Mahuli. We knew it’s going to be an exhausting task today, but we were prepared. Medications for anemia, antibiotics, malnutrition packets, deworming tablets-our army was ready to fight the challenges which health of these kids face. A separate room was kept for dental examination, general examination, deworming, and counseling and health education. Our volunteers started working with registrations of the kids not realizing how chirpy the kids are. Kids of age group 4-13 years were registered. After that even their family members were registered and examined and educated. The line management was a tedious task and kudos to these young enthusiasts that they managed it so well,” said Muntazir Ali Sayed from Switch-India.
Dr Gada added, “The volunteers did a wonderful job with anthropometry-noting the height, weight and mid-arm circumference (less than 5 years) of the kids. Calculating the BMI
and then plotting the findings on growth charts with such accuracy is a commendable job. Proper anthropometry plays an important role in the follow-up of children. We found out that all the children were underweight
and there is an immense need of alleviating such malnutrition in children. Proper advice regarding their nutrition will serve as a salient follow-up mechanism for these kids. The kids were then instructed to another room where our dentist on the camp waited with her tools and instruments, doing a daunting task managing the rigorous dental examination and oral hygiene.”
Dr Ali Sayed said, “The kids, after their dental examination were sent for General Examination where our other volunteers were ready to flaunt their examination and diagnostic skills. From general, to head to toe, to their Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) examination were covered. It was found out that maximum children had impacted wax in their ears and were anemic. Proper referral was done to the ENT department at the subsequent PHC.”
He further added, “A kid was also found with burn wounds on her legs, with her parents demanding an ointment to be applied. Aiding her, it was realized that the rural sections of our country are devoid of adequate health-care facilities. Proper provisions must be done by the health-care policy makers to achieve the health for all agendas of these rural sections. Kids were also diagnosed with improper vision thus the need for spectacles. After the kids, even the adults who accompanied were examined and advised. This was followed by the deworming sessions of the kids by our other volunteers who did a stupendous job of convincing each child to effectively chew the tablet. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 870 million children are at risk of parasitic worm infection. Infected children are often too sick or tired to concentrate at school, or to attend at all.”
“The counsellers and health educators on our team were astounding. Not only they were fluent and confident while conveying their message but also impressive in making the children listen to them. The children were given a presentation about general health and hygiene. Pubertal and pre-pubertal girls were advised on menstruation and the problems concerning it. The girls listened attentively and I am very hopeful that they understood it,” said Dr Gada.
“With this, our camp ended. There was a video session where our volunteers emphasized the health problems the kids here at Mahuli faced and the level of prevention required to tackle them. We sincerely hope that our message and this initiative will reach the right authorities who can then intervene on a much greater scale than ours. After our felicitation, we ended up by 3 pm with a bumpy ride which made us reach our lunch avenue and then heading to our respective homes,” said Dr Ali Sayed
Dr Gada, said, “What I wish to highlight here is that there is an immense need of adequate health-care facilities to these challenging problems this bubbly future of our country face. With proper nourishment and support-both physically and emotionally, will we get healthy disease-free adults. I appreciate all the volunteers for giving their best to make this camp a very successful one!”