Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection are serious healthcare problems affecting approximately 2 billion people worldwide. It is estimated that the total HBV and HCV carrier pool in India is estimated at 40 and 15 million respectively (2006). The estimated national prevalence rate for HBV is 4.7%, primarily due to lack of awareness. Women of childbearing age are key stakeholders in preventing Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) infection and, as such, can potentially play a critical role in reducing the vertical and horizontal transmission of HBV. Also, the high risk groups such as commercial sex workers, drug users etc. are at risk of developing HBV/HCV.
United Way of Mumbai organized awareness session with 54 peer educators who work with sexually exploited women (mainly known as CSW) for prevention of HBV/HCV. Information about prevalence, causes, symptoms, prevention and treatment of HBV/HCV is imparted in the session. These peer educators will further use the knowledge base in their regular activities of medical checkups, blood investigations and other medical facilities. Such interventions in city of Mumbai are imperative to prevent healthcare disasters.
Capacity Building Training of Women's Group for Fire Fighting
With the vision in mind of preparing citizens for situations of disasters, United Way of Mumbai has been facilitating first responder training programs for various city stakeholders. As part of this endeavor, Fire fighting training was organized for the women groups of slum communities of Andheri, a suburb in the city of Mumbai. Slum settlements consist of semi structured houses built with the use of raw material, plastics, wood. Such settlements have minimal space and are vulnerable to hazards of frequently occurring fire incidents. Hence it is imperative to train and prepare key stakeholders such as women (who are usually the first responders to such incidents) of these communities in fire fighting.
40 women went through Fire fighting Training program and learnt about basic aspects of fire Safety. Training also helped them understand different strategies to fight fire by using available material at home such as rice, soap etc. Participants also had hands on experience of using of fire extinguishers.
First Responder Training of Youth Group for Disaster Response
United Way of Mumbai aims to channelize the youth power for safer and better communities in the city of Mumbai. As part of this 50 college youth from M L Dahanukar College, were trained as First Responder in times of disasters. Inputs were given on different types of disasters, preventive measures and ways to handle situation in times of disasters. It was an interactive session wherein participants shared their experiences and actions they take in times of disasters. This helped the youth to understand the role that they can play first responders in times of crisis.
Ganesh festival is one of the biggest festivals in Mumbai city and popularity of the same cuts across boundaries of age and religion. Ganesha Chaturthi is a Hindu festival celebrated on the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati. This year too, Mumbai witnessed a frenzy of celebrations. In all, nearly 3 lakh Ganesh idols were brought to homes and for community celebrations and a similar number of idols were eventually immersed at the various beaches and lakes. Each year this brings forth the following challenge: Given the popularity of the festival, high footfall at various pandals (where Ganesh Idols are put up for worshipping) and immersions sites are witnessed. Such gatherings are vulnerable to incidents such as overcrowding, stampede, casualties to the devotees, fire occurrences at the Pandals, etc.
Given the gravity of these issues, every year United Way Mumbai Helpline in partnership of various public and private organizations of the city carries our series of citywide activities and campaigns to promote safer celebration of Ganesh Festival. This year too was no different, with scaled up initiatives and wider outreach to more than 500 major Ganesh Mandals of the city.
Considering the need for trained first responders to prevent any mishaps and mitigate the impact at Ganesh pandals; UWMH joined hands with the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) for organizing first responder trainings for Ganesh Mandal groups of city. The training covered the aspect of flood (causes and preventive measures), fire safety, bomb threats, crowd management and first aid methods. The training program was planned by the Disaster Management Cell of MCGM and UWMH helped them in mobilizing the Ganesh Mandals from various parts of the city. The team members of UWMH reached out to numerous Mandals and convinced them about the need for attending the training. In all 100 representatives from various Ganesh Mandals in the city successfully completed the training. The training was imparted by the trainers from MCGM’s Disaster Management Cell.
Besides training the representatives of the Ganesh Mandals, it is imperative to also educate the visitors to these pandals and make them aware of the Do’s & Don’ts to be followed during different disasters such as fire, drowning, stampede and other related emergencies. UWMH put up informative banners at 200 major Ganesh Pandals of the city which displayed vital information regarding different disasters, Do’s and Don’ts and emergency contact numbers in times of crisis. The content of these banners were created in close consultation with the MCGM’s Disaster Management Cell.
Thank You for your continued support.
United Way of Mumbai Team
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