The project was a recipient of a Micro-donation from the Foundation Emanuele Antola in the year 2007. We were very happy with what they are doing and we plan to continue supporting it in the year 2009. You can donate to this project or if you have medical skills you are welcome there as a volunteer.
1. Project Description:
A charitable rural health care project, combining multi-disciplinary conventional and alternative medical outpatient services with health education programmes in the villages of the community.
2. Area where it is located:
In the state of Jharkhand in northeastern India, close to the border to W. Bengal. This rural region is amongst the most neglected and underdeveloped in India. The project is 15 km outside of Bokaro Steel City, an industrial town, from which it has good access via a connecting large road.
3. Project History:
The project started in April 2005 with the purchase of 0.9 acres of undeveloped land. During the following weeks several medical camps were held on the land using tents. Within 2 months a small temporary clinic building was constructed, so that regular outpatient services could commence in acupuncture, homeopathy and allopathy (Western medicine). Due to financial limitations, until present acupuncture is held 3 days a week, homeopathy 5 days a week and allopathy one day a week.
In August 2005 water hygiene programmes were started in the surrounding villages, which have continued in regular intervalls until present: the villagers are shown how to disinfect their drinking well water cheaply and effectively using bleaching powder (chlorine), and how to kill breeding parasites by spraying diluted phenyl into stagnant water areas.
Since September 2005 nutritional educaton programmes have been held on a nearly weekly basis in surrounding villages, demonstrating with green leafy vegetables how the villagers can overcome malnutrition and vitamin deficiency diseases. Since April 2007 this is being done by means of an entertaining film programme: a drama performance about healthy diet was enacted, filmed and converted to DVD, and is now shown every week in a village of the area, thus reaching many more people effectively.
Since 2006 many additional service programmes have been held, partly in cooperation with other local NGOs. These include AIDS awareness programmes, dental treatments, eye-testing with prescription of free eye-glasses and cataract operations, blanket and clothes distribution, children’s programmes, youth programmes and women’s awareness programmes.
In February 2006, a herbal garden was started, to demonstrate to patients and visitors the benefits of common herbs and greens. This has since been expanded to include 82 varieties of medicinal and nutritional herbs.
In March 2006 the first section of the permanent clinic building (7 rooms) was completed.
In July 2007, weekly physiotherapy treatments were added to the regular outpatient services.
4. Project Mission:
To uplift the health and educational standard of the impoverished rural population through:
– Holistic medical services for the poor, offered on a charitable basis, combining conventional and alternative therapies by skilled professionals.
– Health and hygiene education through regular programmes in the villages of the area.
– Training of primary health care workers, who work in their villages to expand and strengthen the health care network of the region.
5. Why it is benefiting the community:
Surrounding the clinic is an area with a rural population of approx. 60,000, which previously had no easy access to adequate and affordable medical facilities. Small local govt. health centres exist, but are poorly stocked with medicines and run by insufficiently trained and unmotivated medical staff. Larger clinics are too far away and/or unaffordable for the villagers. In most villages there is neither a doctor, nurse nor midwife, and the population is exploited by money-minded village quacks. Approx. 70% of the population in this area is illiterate, and approx. 80% suffer from chronic malnutrition, which is the cause for many of their health problems, which include many infectious diseases and frequent cases of cerebral palsy.
By offering health education together with medical services, the vicious cycle of ignorance and disease can gradually be broken. Evaluations of our nutritional education programmes have shown that all those who attended were able to learn about vitamins and healthy diet, and a significant number have started to include more green leafy vegetables in their diet, which normally consists only of white rice with very little vegetables and almost no fruit.
6. Number of beneficiaries:
An average of approx. 30 patients per working day receive outpatient services at the clinic, with a total of 700 – 1,000 patients per month.
Since the begin of the village screenings of our nutritional education film, 100-200 villagers have been attending these weekly programmes.
The project services a rural population of approx. 60,000, living in approx. 80 villages.