The Goodwill Social Work Centre launched the, “BASIC HOLISTIC HEALTH COMMUNITY PROGRAMME”, in Narikudi Block, Kamarajar District, South India. The target area covered 20 villages in the Narikudi Block and the project catered to the basic health needs of children, women and farmers. The Project was formally inaugurated on 23rd November 1993. Dr. (Mrs) R. Taj, Founding Lady Medical Officer, Taj Clinic (NGO), Madurai inaugurated the project and declared open the Community Health Centre by lighting a lamp to mark the inauguration of the programme in the villages. Prof (Dr) J. Christopher Daniel, Project Holder and Executive Director, Goodwill Social Work Centre Welcomed the gathering. Mr. Kulasekaran, M.B.A, Administrative Manager, Meenakshi Mission Hospital, Madurai, Dr. C. Ramasubramanian, Psychiatrist, Government Rajaji Hospital, Madurai and Dr. (Mrs) Taj, Taj Clinic, Madurai offered felicitations. Participants of the inaugural function included local women and men, representatives from Governmental and Non-Governmental agencies in Madurai and Kamarajar Districts.
In the initial phase of the project, Village Health Committees were formed which met once a week and discussed health related issues. These committees were consulted for organising Health and Medicare programmes by the organizers. Regular meetings for the committee members were arranged with the health personnel of the projects.
A Health Advisory Committee comprising 20 Medical Specialists, Health Workers, Medical Social Workers from Governmental and Non-Governmental Health Institutions was constituted. This Advisory Committee which met once in three months provided health consultancy and provided referral and follow up services for the villagers.
The Goodwill Health Personnel team comprised One Medical Doctor, Two Women ANMs and One Male Field Staff and One Health Animator in each targeted village. The Doctor attended on the patients regularly and provides appropriate treatment to them. Further, referral was also made to the patients to specialist hospitals. The job duties of ANMs included..
- To Organise medical check up camps regularly, especially for pregnant women, neo-natal and post-natal women and children
- To assist in medical examination for the patients.
- To assist and advice Village Health Workers of select villages as to health and medicare
- To Detect, diagnose and treat common ailments in the villages
- To dispense medicines in consultation with the Doctor
- To maintain health Records and Registers
- To Organise health training for Village Health Workers and village mothers at the field office.
The Health Care Centre was equipped with medicines, modern equipments, accessories and furniture. First Aid Kits were supplied to the Village Health Workers who were trained to administer first aid. The residence of each Village Health Worker functioned as a peripheral centre which met the medical needs of the villagers. It is evident from the health records that on an average 775 patients were treated in the centre in a month.
The following health records and registers were maintained regularly in the health centre.
- Medical History Portfolio
- Treatment Referral Card
- Individual Family Card
- Identity Card
- Pregnant Mother Card
- Card for Eligible Couples for Family Planning
- Child Card
- Monthly Survey Register/Report
- Village Living Conditions Identifications Survey Record
- Drug Prescription Sheet.
Health Orientations training programmes for the Village Health Workers and Field Staff were organised by the centre. The Orientation programmes for the participants covered major health related issues such as Nutrition, Mother and Child care, First-aid, Water, Personal, Social, and Environmental hygiene, Family welfare, etc. The Health Workers (Animators) were imparted training on ‘First Aid Services’ and the use of First Aid Kits.
Refresher Courses as health care were arranged for the project staff every month. They were also given training on the applications of health communications namely, puppet shows, street theatres, role plays, dramas, skits, visual aids, etc.The Village Health Animators, activities included submission of daily activities report, and weekly plans to the Chief Functionary of the Goodwill Centre. Monthly review, evaluation and planning meetings were held regularly.
Health Education: The Centre’s prime concern was to educate our beneficiaries on the various aspects of health care and services, hygiene and sanitation and disease prevention. Health education was given paramount importance so that with the passage of time, people could protect themselves from communicable diseases, lead a clean and hygienic life and healthy living. The centre formed Basic Holistic Health Community groups in all our target villages. Fifty three groups were formed in the villages, with an enrollment of 1080 women members. Our Health Education staff imparted knowledge and information on health issues, regularly to these group members. Health education programmes, Media intervention programme and Health training were organised to the members once in a month.
Apart from this, health education classes were also conducted for the children. The Centre established Environmental Education Centres in our target villages and these centres were utilized for conducting the health education classes. Children from 10 villages were given health education every weekend. It is reported that 980 children were benefitted from these weekly health education classes. Further, once in a month an Evaluation meeting was conducted for these children.
It was found that media intervention was a very effective method for reaching out to the people. Puppet shows, street theatres, film show etc were group discussions, community meetings and child-to-child programmes were organised the children actively participated in these programmes.
The Centre also organised film shows, slide shows, street theatre, skits, role plays, dramas etc for the women, youth club members, farmers’ forum members and the general public at regular intervals. Media intervention attracted the villagers and thereby they were sensitized to important issues on health.
The Centre also prepared a booklet covering various health themes which was translated in the vernacular and distributed to the villagers. The Centre succeeded in kindling the interest of the people through its health education programmes. It carried out its activities based on a monthly plan of action. Our village health centre was equipped with the following the medical equipments Electrical Sterilizer 12”, Basin (Small &Big), Basin Stand, Tongue Depressor, Stethoscope Microtone, Sphygmomanometer, B.P. Apparatus, Scissors, Artery Forceps, Syringe, Needles, Gloves, etc., Infant Mucus Extractor, Suction Apparatus Electronic make, Oxygen Cylinder, Clinical thermometer, Metal catheter (Male/Female), Examination Table, Forceps, Drip Stand, Cotton, Bandages, Plasters, etc., Others items included refrigerator, Fan, Stove, Heater, Bench, Steel Cupboard, Chair, Stool, One Motor Cycle and a Jeep.