Aims & Objectives: With the prevailing ‘misconceptions’ and attitudes of people in the society regarding essential aspects of health and nutrition, Peaceful Society decided to have a concrete initiatives on Health for a year with monthly follow up health check ups and health talks in the year 1987. Dr. Poornima N Usgaonkar, Ponda, Goa kindly agreed to pay one visit every month. This was also conceptualise to secure health and economy of rural poor women and their children.
Work Processes: The first health camp was held at Bandora-Goa. A talk on “worm infestations” was given. Medicines required were prescribed and guidance towards nutrition was given since Anemia was prevalent with many cases of faulty feeding. Same Children attended the next follow up camp and it was obvious that the medicines prescribed were not bought and there was no much change in the health status of the children. Earlier there were hundred queries about the deworming. The deworming trend began which was an outcome of proper explanations on hazards of worm infestations, exact method of medication which again was a very important factor since improper way and inadequate medicine would disturb worms, and create false impression on the patients about deworming. But to our surprise, over a period of time they were the most regular patients later on and the camps became a pleasant work with wholehearted participation of patients. The health camps continued in Bandora even after transfer of PS office from here to Madkai in September 1990. Similar monthly camp was started in Madkai too in PS own campus. Initially the number of patients was not under control but later it was restricted to 25-30 per camp with their mothers. After few years since Sept. 1998, separate doctors for women were requested for their assistance in the check ups.
The children since being diagnosed regularly could be grouped out from their weights. The inability to gain weight in spite of nutritional improvements, removal of other infective conditions etc. and those other children with persisting respiratory complaints in spite of timely treatment and treatment for esosinophilia etc. were grouped out for investigations and they were investigated for tuberculosis, with blood tests, PPD and X ray chest, PPD test The cases found positive were started on treatment. Later to screen the contacts, a survey was conducted in various parts of Madkai by the Tuberculosis Department and Peaceful Society with sputum examinations and the positive cases were given treatment by the TB Department with follow up carried out by Peaceful Society. A case of TB spine, some cases of primary complex, progressive primary complex were the cases found in children which were treated adequately with the help of Health Centre, Madkai, ID hospital Ponda-Goa.
The immunization record of every patient is kept in the books and timely reminders are given for boosters and subsequent immunizations, if required.
Blood Group is a very important factor in certain health conditions and prior knowledge of an individual’s blood group is very useful and helpful tool in situations like Blood Donation, Blood reception and Prevention of certain blood group incompatibilities in the newborn e.g. Rh incompatibility, ABO incompatibility.
PAP’S SMEAR For early detection of Cancer Cervix of uterus, a camp for women above 40 was done with pap’s smear with the help of ID hospital and Goa Medical College, Pathology Department.
DENTAL CHECK UP Dr. Chhaya Bandodker Practising dental surgeon from Ponda, did dental check up with talk on oral hygiene on .
EYE CHECK UP Dr. Bandekar did eye check up and Peaceful Society supplied spects to the patients.
FIRST AID BOXES First aid boxes containing Scissor, towel, nail-cutter, antiseptic cream, lotion, cotton, gauze, adhesive tape, toothbrush, paste etc. were supplied to each family with proper detailed instructions, to mothers for how and when to use each item.
Certain special cases like a perforated eardrum was operated by Dr. Acharya, ENT Surgeon, from Madgaon, free of cost. Patients with congenital heart defects, epilepsy, mental retardation etc. were given special treatment jointly by Usgaonker Clinic & by Peaceful Society.
Health Talks: During every health camp a health talk on different health problems and prevalent misconceptions regarding infective diseases, worms, immunization, nutrition, care during pregnancy, care of the newborn, care during adolescence, health problems in the rainy seasons, tips towards family health, hygiene, rabies, measles mumps, tetanus, chicken pox, anaemia, calcium deficiency, nutritional deficiencies, mental health, jaundice, malaria, tuberculosis, fungal infections, were given from time to time.
Information materials distributed from time to time on malaria, worms, nutrition, immunization, rabies, scabies etc.
DIFFICULTIES ENCOUNTERED Beginning of the camps was a tough encounter to overcome certain fixed concepts prevailing.
- Purpose of health camp was not understood.
- Mothers also could not buy necessary medicines, so samples were distributed and later Peaceful Society arranged the required medicines.
- Doubts about medicine samples – expiry dates etc.
- Inadequate medications – overcome in course of time by persuasive attempts of teaching the importance of adequate medications and removal of false fears.
- Faulty attitudes of the elderly – were timely taken care with assurance and subsequently accepted with practical experience.
Social Stigmas: Tuberculosis was and is taken, as a social stigma. Even today, more public the issue is made more difficult is the cooperation. So the matter is tackled in a different way without making it public, with personal advices, and management. Assurance about the cure after proper treatment and ways of prevention of spread are stressed upon.
SPECIAL CASE STUDIES
- Potts spine.
- A.S.D – A care of acyanotic congenital heart disease
- Mentally – Retarded
- A case of Perforated ear drum
- Cleft Palate.
- Umbilical grannuloma
- Fancom’s Syndrome a primary complex Adenoids Chronic tonsillitis
Report :- Dr. (Mrs.) Purnima N. S. Usgaonker
The doctors who associated with Health Programme so far
Dr. Purnima N. Usgaonkar (Paediatrics who led the programme from the front). Dr. Shila V Gupte (Gynaecology) Dr. Sudha Vaidya (Gynaecology) Dr. Smita R. Usgaonkar (Gynaecology) Dr. Santosh Usgaonker (Paediatrics) Dr. Naraina Edo, Dr. Porob (Chest), Dr.Lalana Bakhale, (Cardiology)), Dr.Bandekar, Dr. Pradeep Naik (Ophthalmology,), Dr. Dhaimodkar, Dr. Uday Kerkar, Dr. Ghanshyam Mardolkar, and few others.
Coordinated and organised by: Bharati Bandodkar, Coordinator, Women Development, Peaceful Society.