July 7, 2009
Greetings from Seva Mandir, India!
The monsoon has been delayed here. Farmers have made their fields and are waiting for the rains. People grow maize during rains. Also they grow some vegetables in their farms as the water is plenty during monsoon; but only if it rains. Past two years have not been very good in terms of rains. So this year we need the rains badly.
Recently, I had seen two young kids (around 1 and half years old) in the city hospital. Both were suffering from Tuberculous Meningitis. Tuberculous meningitis is Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection of the meninges—the system of membranes which envelops the central nervous system. It is the most common form of CNS tuberculosis.
Both kids were from village and were born at home. They didn’t receive the BCG shot, which is given at birth in most cases or can be given until the infant is a month and half old to prevent cerebral tuberculosis.
One kid became blind because of the disease and was struggling with high fever. The other kid was severely malnourished and his brain was partly damaged; it is not known what imparity he had developed. Both kids were not able to feed on their own.
I spoke to their care-givers and they both reported of not being aware of the effect of the vaccines. One of them also said “since the place where the Government vaccination does take place, is quite far for me to walk to and also because I have never went out that far on my own”.
A couple of days after my talk to her, I heard that one of the kids died. I was very sad. The vaccination is free from the Government but has a poor reach to many places.
Seva Mandir run immunization camps take place within the village and at a central location where women can walk to, easily holding their children in their arms. Also, the camp takes place at a fix time and date each month.
The birth attendant (traditional birth attendant in the village supported and trained by Seva Madnir) reminds everyone about the camp a day prior. She also explains the community about the immunization and its benefits.
The vaccination is so important. It can save little children from six deadly diseases including Tuberculous Meningitis. These diseases are preventable.
I would like to thank you from all of us here at Seva Mandir, for being there for us in this important mission. Together we are reaching out to many more kids and saving their lives.
Thank you once again. Please do let me know if you have any comments on this feedback or questions.
With warm regards,