Providing Life Skills to 300 Girls living in Slums

by Vacha Charitable Trust
Providing Life Skills to 300 Girls living in Slums

Project Report | Nov 19, 2021
Health Camps: Addressing Healthcare Needs

By Steffi Fernando | Assistant Projects Director

Medical team handing out medicines to a girl
Medical team handing out medicines to a girl

The ongoing effects of COVID 19 pandemic have been distressing. In a horrific manner, the pandemic has left the already unsteady healthcare systems of developing nations like ours, crumbling. Needless to say, it is the intersectionally deprived section that receives the bent of the crisis of civilizations. Even with the drop in Covid cases and relaxation of the lockdown, the ‘new normal’ comes with great apprehensions for the marginalized.

The needs of women and girls of a community are often overshadowed, especially in times of crisis. It is precisely why we were among the first organizations to include sanitary products in our Covid relief kits. Our engagements with intersectionally deprived girls for over three decades have helped us understand that one of the key concern areas for girls has been poor access to health facilities and nutrition. Hence, one of the primary interventions of Vacha has been towards weekly nutrition and health camps at regular intervals.

Similarly, this year we organised a health camp in association with organizations working in the field of health and nutrition. This camp was conducted between the months of September and October when the Covid guidelines of physical distancing were relaxed. It was organized at 12 bastis (communities) and we were able to reach out to 843 participants, including 689 girls and 154 boys post consent from girls and their guardians. An all-women team consisting of 1 gynecologist, 2-3 nurses, 2-3 caretakers and 1 lab assistant set up the camp at our centers or adjoining community spaces in the bastis. The team registered the height and weight of our participants. Their blood samples were taken to check for their blood group and the level of Hemoglobin(Hb). Special arrangements were made for the girl participants to have a proper appointment with the gynecologist. It was observed that many girls in the bastis were having trouble during menstruations. From severe cramps, heavy bleeding, irregular periods to signs of PCOS, the girls were able to put forward their problems. After proper consultation, we have provided necessary medicines to the participants in need. We have also facilitated the sonography of 2 participants, a complete blood count of 2 participants and the test of End-Stage Renal disease of 1 of our participants. Additionally, we have also provided all the participants with nutrition packets during the camp.

The data from the heath camp presents a picture of the health condition of adolescents in the bastis. The issue of menstruation is still a taboo in various communities, hence, any complications are often overlooked, hushed, or met with home remedies. This often leaves even the complicated matters unattended. One of the participants used to get her periods twice in the same month and it lasted for over 10 days. She wasn’t even aware that her condition needed medical attention. It is imperative to amplify awareness related to menstruation and menstrual hygiene in the communities. Another alarming concern is the percentage of participants with a low Hb count, which should ideally be between the range of 12-14. 37.12% of our participants were in between the range of 7-10; 46.97% falls between the count of 10-12 and 15.65% participants are between the range of 12-14. The data suggests that almost 84.09% of our participants who were screened have low Hb count.

As part of our intervention, we have been providing the participants with supplements of recommended vitamins and medicines. We have also scheduled a follow-up test after 3 months for some of the recommended participants. Additionally, special nutrition and close attention will be paid towards participants reporting poor Hb levels.

Guided awareness and access to healthcare remains an integral component of our work with adolescent girls. 

Nurse taking a blood sample for Haemoglobin test
Nurse taking a blood sample for Haemoglobin test
Team following COVID 19 protocols
Team following COVID 19 protocols

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Jul 24, 2021
Vacha in COVID Times

By Steffi Fernando | Assistant Projects Director

Mar 29, 2021
Some Happy News in Times of The Pandemic

By Yagna Parmar | Project Director

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Organization Information

Vacha Charitable Trust

Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra - India
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @VachaTrust
Vacha Charitable Trust
Dineshwari Thonse
Project Leader:
Dineshwari Thonse
Mumbai , Maharashtra India

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