Community Health


Lack of access to safe drinking water is a major cause of ill health and loss of productivity in impoverished rural communities. It is also the principal cause of life-threatening diseases among infants and children. Access to safe drinking water and a healthy living environment are overarching goals that shape Gram Vikas' health development programmes. Gram Vikas works with government Primary Health Centres and follows a threefold approach, which includes preventive, promotive and curative health care services leveraging traditional knowledge in medicines and health practices.

Preventive

Gram Vikas couples the establishment of sanitation infrastructure with school & community based hygiene education programmes. Children that adopt hygienic practices encourage their parents to do the same. Additionally, children who are raised using toilets are comfortable with this practice and help to influence the sanitary practices in the community.

Promotive

In order to ensure that communities can access government health services, Gram Vikas organizes health camps in cooperation with the staff from the village's primary health centre and other village level health staff in remote regions. As malaria is endemic in many areas of the state, Gram Vikas prioritizes measures against this disease. For example, health committees distribute mosquito nets, promote early blood testing to prevent death, establish drug distribution centres, chlorinate wells and advertise government treatment programmes. Gram Vikas also facilitates government health programs for maternal health care and for immunization through the Pulse Polio campaign. Health Committees in villages also push government officials to provide regular basic health services.

Curative

Training and capacity building are core components of the MANTRA health strategy. Local health workers are trained to diagnose illnesses, such as tuberculosis and malaria, and dispense medication for them. To increase the safety of childbirth, traditional birth attendants are trained in improved delivery practices. The Koinpur office of Gram Vikas is an authorized centre for the testing of tuberculosis under the Rev National Tuberculosis Program, and liaisons closely with the district Health Department in providing access to TB patients in the area. In collaboration with the Rotary Club of Berhampur, Gram Vikas organizes health camps on a need basis. Vision Entrepreneurs have been trained through a partnership with Vision Spring to provide low-cost spectacles for people with Presbyopia in rural areas.

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