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Bakhel Community Health Training

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Discussions going on in the Community Health Training. To see more photos from the event, click here.

The first Bakhel Community Health Training was held on May 27-29, through collaboration between the Global Hospital, Hunar Ghar, RNT Medical College, and the Bakhel community. All 13 members of the Hunar Ghar staff, including seven local staff, attended the training, along with 17 local community members.

On the first day, Dr. Devda from the Global Hospital, with his colleagues Heer Singh and Hansraj, led two sessions. They discussed monsoon-related disease and tuberculosis, and in the evening, we reviewed the material through a combination of short videos and pictures. The next morning, everyone worked together to make an action plan for preventing and appropriately treating disease during this coming monsoon.

On the second day, Dr. Rupal Shah from the Global Hospital did a presentation on addictions, focusing on smoking, alcohol, and gutkha. The visuals she used and stories she told really hit home and have inspired a lot of conversations in Bakhel about quitting. Many community members who currently use gutkha regularly saw the consequences for the first time. That afternoon, the doctors and staff from the Kotda Block Community Health Center visited the training. They did a short session on government health schemes, and it was really beneficial for the community to see proof that there is a doctor at the CHC. In the evening, three residents from RNT Medical College, Drs. Bharat, Arun, and Suresh, began their sessions on maternal and child health. These were the same doctors who had come to do the community health survey, and it was amazing to see how quickly they reconnected with the community. We ended the night with a dancing and singing program.

On the last day, the RNT doctors finished their maternal and child health sessions. The Hunar Ghar staff and the doctors then did a series of role-plays on different treatment seeking options and prenatal care, which everyone loved. The RNT doctors also touched on family planning, and after a brief review, the training finished in the afternoon.

Although there were times where interest levels waned, overall the training was a definite success. The feedback reports showed that people really enjoyed the training and are interested in attending another, especially with more interactive activities, role-plays and audio-visual resources. It was an exciting step towards community health awareness, and our women’s groups have already begun discussing the new knowledge.

First medical survey in Bakhel

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The medical team

This week in Bakhel we have had the medical team from the RNT Medical College in Udaipur staying with us. With the help of our teachers and the women in the community, as well as Neha, Deepak and Gopal of course, Drs. Suresh, Arun, Chetan and Bharat did 100 surveys around the village. An incredible feat! We’re going to use this information to better understand health problems in the village, as well as factors that prevent people being more in control of their health or seeking medical care when they have fallen ill. Based on this information, the Global Hospital in Mount Abu will then design and implement a health intervention in the village, which we hope to then expand to other nearby villages.

We’re all very excited but this. It’s very very good that we can begin to have health interventions that are in response to well identified and understood health problems, and understand the way people go about approaching health issues. What’s normally the case is that people go to some cowboy doctor in a local town who fleeces them. In terms of health interventions, normally it is sporadic health camps where people line up to get a shot and a fist-full of pills.

In as much as this previous approach does enable people to feel like their getting treated, we hope over the to be able to shift attitudes so that not only do they feel like they are getting treated but they actually are, and that they are able to get better access to that treatment, understand it better, and know better what can be do to avoid illness in the first place.

It’ll be a little while before the report is written up, I imagine, but I’ll let you know when it is.