Life Saving Treatment to Children in Rural India

by Seva Mandir
Life Saving Treatment to Children in Rural India
Life Saving Treatment to Children in Rural India
Life Saving Treatment to Children in Rural India
Life Saving Treatment to Children in Rural India
Life Saving Treatment to Children in Rural India
Life Saving Treatment to Children in Rural India
Life Saving Treatment to Children in Rural India
Life Saving Treatment to Children in Rural India
Life Saving Treatment to Children in Rural India
Life Saving Treatment to Children in Rural India
Life Saving Treatment to Children in Rural India
Life Saving Treatment to Children in Rural India

Seva Mandir’s monthly Immunization Camp in Undithal village is held in a community hall which sits in the middle of fields lying below the Aravali hills. The camp is run by a nurse, Urmila, who provides antenatal care and advice for pregnant women, and immunization for both mothers and children. She also monitors babies’ growth and looks for cases of undernutrition, and will examine any children who are brought in with minor ailments.

One of the major clinical problems Urmila sees amongst pregnant women is anaemia, with haemoglobin levels well below the healthy level of 11. This is caused by insufficient iron in their diets, which also generally lack calcium.  The deficiency can usually be remedied with iron supplement tablets, but in severe cases – of which there are many – or if a woman’s blood sugar is too high, they have to be referred to hospital.

Many women do not take the advice seriously as they see no outward signs of the condition. In extreme cases, their iron levels are so low they need intravenous iron. When women are reluctant to take their supplements or go to the clinic at a nearby hospital, Urmila has a tactic she uses to convince them.  She says, ‘Go to get treatment now, or else when you deliver your baby you may need blood from two or three people.  Is that what you want?  If not, go to hospital now!’

Urmila, an auxiliary nurse midwife, has worked with Seva Mandir for over two years. She runs ten immunization camps a month in different villages. In between camps, she has to enter all the data she has collected, sharing it with the government health department and with Seva Mandir’s head office.

In addition to health records, details such as ID and bank account information are required, as there are various government schemes that give women money after the birth of their children.  The information is also needed so that pregnant women can be registered with the hospital where they are to give birth so that they can be admitted without delay when the time comes. Urmila says that collecting this data used to be quite a problem, but now women know that they need to bring the relevant information with them to the camps and it has become easier.

To ensure that all of our camps run efficiently, each nurse running an immunization camp must take a photograph of herself in front of the noticeboard for that clinic before and after the camp, proof that she has attended and completed the hours required.

Urmila says, ‘I enjoy my job. It brings me great satisfaction to know I am helping keep women and babies healthy. It’s important that I can go to my patients as they find it so difficult to get to healthcare centres outside their villages.’

We are immensely proud of the improvements which have been made in southern Rajasthan, and with great support from well-wishers like you we hope to reach even more people in need.

Thank you so much for your continued trust in us.

Regards

Atul Lekhra and the Seva Mandir Team

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Let me start out by wishing you and your loved ones the season’s greetings.

Mall is one of the deprived villages of Southern Rajasthan where Seva Mandir works.  Access to quality health services is limited here because of the difficult terrain.

Ranjana & Azmal are a couple who live in Mall.  However, unlike most of their fellow villagers, they are both able to read and write.  Azmal is a farmer but also gives tuition to the children in his village in his spare time, while Ranjana looks after the family.

When they had their first child, they decided to get her fully vaccinated.  Azmal says : “Seva Mandir has been organizing immunization camps in my village for more than ten years.  Hence, we are aware of the importance of vaccines.  I have decided not to miss any vaccine needed for my child.”

Azmal and Ranjana have ensured that their baby girl receives timely vaccine shots and so have saved her from many deadly diseases such as polio, diphtheria, typhoid, measles and hepatitis. 

We hope that someday, each and every person where we work will be as aware of the importance of immunization as Azmal.

It is because of the support of well-wishers like you that we have been able to organize monthly immunization camps for children and pregnant women in the backward villages of Rajasthan. Each month, around 135 children and 110 pregnant women receive vaccine shots through these camps.

Let no child suffer due to the deadly diseases that could have easily been prevented through inexpensive vaccines!  We hope for your continued support in this mission.

I also wanted to tell you that we have been selected by the GlobalGiving Foundation to participate in its YEAR END CAMPAIGN!– a fundraising opportunity for nonprofits around the world.

In order to succeed, we must raise $3,000 from 30 donors by end of this month.

If we meet this threshold, we will be featured on GlobalGiving’s website and could earn bonus prizes from GlobalGiving for raising the most money.

Please help us reach the goal by making a donation.

We would love to hear from you.  Please do reach out to us at atul.lekhra@sevamandir.org

Thank you, as always, for your continued support.

With warm wishes,

Atul Lekhra and the Seva Mandir Team

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On 14th August, our team at Seva Mandir embarked on the latest trip to the field. The destination was Undithal village in Badgaon block which is located 52 kms out of Udaipur city. It is a picturesque place with outstanding vistas and an abundance of lush green fields. It is a quite and peaceful hamlet, the complete opposite to the hustle and bustle of Udaipur. However, it is a remote area which is hard to access as a result of the lack of transportation infrastructure. This is a major reason why Seva Mandir was invited to help the villagers with the development of their area.

That day, Seva Mandir was conducting one of the immunization camps which they carry out in various locations across southern Rajasthan. The purpose of the camps is to provide vaccinations for children aged between 12-24 months against diseases such as tuberculosis, tetanus, measles, diphtheria and polio. As well as providing vaccinations the nurse conducting the programme also carries out general health checks for the children and expectant mothers to make sure they are in good health. A traditional birth attendant (TBA) is also in attendance to give further advice to the mothers with regard to nutrition and well-being. 

The service that Seva Mandir provides through the immunization programme is extremely important in Badgaon block. The TBA present says that prior to the inception of Seva Mandir’s immunization programme in 1995 the vast majority of villagers were not vaccinated against potentially fatal diseases. Before the camps were created the only place where parents could get their child vaccinated was the hospital located 25kms from the village. A trip to the hospital would cost 35 rupees and there would be no guarantee that the hospital would have the vaccine in stock. People would sometimes have to make multiple trips to the hospital in order to get the vaccinations.  

The immunization camps have changed things in Undithal village for the better. Residents now only have to make a 1 km journey in order to get their children immunized and to have a monthly health check-up. The number of children vaccinated has increased significantly since the camps were created and diseases such as tuberculosis and polio are not nearly as prevalent as they once were. The TBA advises up to 120 families in the area now, which has improved antenatal care considerably. The nutritional advice given has also made families more aware of foods they should be feeding their children. 

Our immunization programme has yielded positive results across the whole of southern Rajasthan. In 2016, 1,024 immunization camps were held in 108 locations, a total of 8,479 shots were administered, 805 children completed their immunization and 1,181 women completed theirs. 

We are immensely proud of the improvements which have been made in southern Rajasthan and with greater support we hope to reach even more people in need.

Thank You,

Atul Lekhra and Seva Mandir Team

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Lydia interacting with tribal women
Lydia interacting with tribal women

Generally, when we share updates we focus on immunization camps run by Seva Mandir. But this time we would like to share the inputs of Lydia Walker who is from London and joined Seva Mandir as a volunteer. She had always been interested in the social sector and wanted to spend a few months volunteering in India. She recently visited one of the immunization camp run by Seva Mandir in Dabban village.

Here are her views, her insights from the field:

“Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit an immunisation camp at a village in Girwa Block. It’s 10km off the highway and has only recently become accessible by road. Households are dotted across the hilly landscape, surrounded by farmland which at this time of year is rock hard, dry and dusty. Sheep, goats and cows nose the barren ground. It’s over 40 degrees.

Many local people travel daily to the cities in search of work; we see them in crowded jeeps, men and children sitting on the rooftops. The children walk through the hills to reach the government school.

On our way into the village we pick up Lali, who is part of a Seva Mandir programme that trains local women to assist with pregnancy and births. As a Traditional Birth Attendant, Lali was six months ago responsible for the safe delivery of a breech baby. Without her intervention, she is certain the mother and baby would have died.

The local women know and trust Lali, so she is present at the immunisation camp to offer support and guidance. Women and children are already waiting patiently for the nurse when we arrive – a testament to Seva Mandir’s work educating people on the importance of immunisation.

Since the introduction of these camps, immunisation rates have increased from 5% to 37%. That means far fewer children are dying of diseases like tuberculosis, tetanus, measles, and polio.

The nurse changes into her beautiful white sari and lays out her equipment and records on a rug. More women and babies arrive and sit around her, speaking quietly and waiting their turn. The nurse administers immunisations to the babies, and gives the pregnant women a check-up.

The nurse finds that Neha, a pregnant woman in her early thirties, has a dangerously low iron level, putting her and the baby at serious risk. She refers Neha to the free clinic for pregnant women at the local hospital. Without interventions like this, women like Neha and her baby, living in remote areas miles from the nearest hospitals, are at risk of life-threatening complications during or after birth.

It was amazing to see this work in action. What a difference a day makes. Thank you for supporting an organisation that saves lives!”

I hope Lydia’s views have motivated you too to continue to be a part of this journey of providing immunization to these children and women. Last year, with the support from friends like you 3579 children were reached out through our immunization camps.

We are happy to share with you that recently we had participated in the GlobalGiving Photo Contest 2017 and our photo secured 1st position in the Hope category. All thanks to friends like you who had voted for our photo and helped us win the contest.

We are also excited to share with you that, on Wednesday July 12thGlobalGiving will be matching donations in the GG Rewards Bonus Day. On this day donations will be matched by 50% and new recurring donations will be matched by 100%.

Every small bit, no matter how small helps us reach closer to our goal. We do hope that you will continue to support our project. This matching fund campaign will help your contribution go deeper.

Best Wishes,

Atul Lekhra and Seva Mandir Team

Follow us on www.facebook.com/sevamandir

Immunization camp in Dabban village
Immunization camp in Dabban village

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Thank you for sending vaccines for me.
Thank you for sending vaccines for me.

Dear Friends of Seva Mandir,

 

Thank you for helping us to provide vaccines to the children from deprived communities. It is because of your support, we are able to organize monthly immunization camp in dozens villages of villages in southern Rajasthan, which is one of the poorest areas in the world.

 Due to unavailability of basic health facilities, vast numbers of children in this area either receive no immunization or fail to complete the full course of inoculations to protect them from deadly diseases.

 A 2003 study carried out by Seva Mandir with researchers from the world-renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found that the rate of full immunization in this area was as low as 2.66%. A more recent study shows that this has risen to 38.3% in areas where Seva Mandir has been running its camps – still much too low, but a significant rise which represents children’s lives saved.

We need your help to continue offering these life-saving vaccinations to small children in these villages. Our health programme trains nurses to give the injections and oral vaccines, and takes them to and from the remote villages they serve. We also train village women to offer advice and care to mothers of children between the ages of 0 and 5.

We couldn’t do this without your help.

With your support last year we have reached to 5101 children, through our immunization camps in 91 hamlets in southern Rajasthan. 6805 pregnant women were also assisted during their most beautiful yet difficult time of delivery through our birth attendants (trained local midwives). We are able to make this progress only because of the support from YOU.

We request you to extend your support during the week of April 3rd to 7th, in which Global Giving will be matching donations in Little by Little Matching Champaign . There will also be a 200% match for new recurring donations started during this week!

We hope to continue our work with your trust. To make a donation, please click the link    https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/provide-immunization-india/

Should your travel bring you to this part of the world, please do consider visiting us.

For any feedback / suggestions, please visit me at atul.lekhra@sevamandir.org

Best Wishes,

Atul Lekhra and Team Seva Mandir

Seva Mandir's nurses on their way to camp.
Seva Mandir's nurses on their way to camp.

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Organization Information

Seva Mandir

Location: Udaipur, Rajasthan - India
Website:
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Twitter: @sevamandir
Project Leader:
Ronak Shah
Udaipur, RAJASTHAN India
$165,856 raised of $210,000 goal
 
1,983 donations
$44,144 to go
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