World Health Day 2018
World Health Organisation had declared April 7th to be the World Health Day, about seven decades ago. And from then on the day is observed the world over with focus on health issues, challenges and triumphs.
Swadhina observed the day with the women residing in some of the remotest regions of Jharkhand. The observance included two segments – an Orientation on Women’s Health for Women leaders from different rural regions and tribes and a Health Check-up Camp for Women.
On the World Health Day, 7th of April 2018, the health orientation took place at Indian Delight Hotel at Ghatsila (East Singbhum District of Jharkhand) and was attended by 30 women leaders from the remote forest villages of Kadamdih, Amainagar, Benasole, Fauji Basti, Dungridih, Latia and Sohda, which are located around Ghatsila. The women represented different tribal communities like Santhal, Munda, Ho, Oraon and Mahali. The orientation was conducted by renowned retired doctors from Calcutta medical College – Dr.Mrs. Sreelekha Karmakar and Dr.Dilip Karmakar.
The programme started with Tagore’s song “Aguner parasmoni” sung by all the participants.
This event was sponsored by NAVA – Networking Alliance for Voluntary Actions, and on behalf of the organisation Diptendu Mukherji, Director shared the objectives of the programme. He said that women’s health related issues are extremely important and these need be tackled in the rural areas with urgent attention. He said that this year a series of Orientation on Women’s Health are being planned to be sponsored by NAVA which will be organized by Swadhina in rural areas of Jharkhand, Orissa and Bengal.
Ms Smriti Sarkar welcomed the participants as well as the facilitators Dr Sreelekha Karmakar and Dr Dilip Karmakar who traveled to the Ghatsila from Kolkata. She said, as women’s health issues are not given importance in the family, most of the women and adolescent girls cannot express their problems to others members of the family. To address this issue Swadhina plans to organize this kind of health orientation programmes.
It was perhaps for the first time that different tribal communities were having a one to one discussion on health and medical issues related to women. Apart from the learning process, it was also an eye-opener where the women came forward to discuss different gynecological issues which are normally never brought forward within the family or society. Dr. Sreelekha explained in detail the different causes and effects of gynecological issues. Present at the venue was an experienced nurse from Chittaranjan Hospital of Calcutta, Ms. Chaitali Mandal. From her life-experiences, she too shared different aspects of women’s health.
Dr Sreelekha Karmakar discussed about Reproductive and Child Health. During pregnancy women face many problems which never taken care by the family members.
During pregnancy nutritious food should be taken by the pregnant mother and she should visit a doctor or hospital to register her name and take TT vaccine for both mother and the child, iron tablets and calcium also to be taken by the mother. If the pregnant mother feels that her legs are getting swollen she should consult to a doctor.
A participant who is seven months pregnant was feeling uneasy and was examined by Dr. Karmakar. This was a live demonstration to the participating women.
Next discussion was on Breast cancer. At present many of the women suffer from breast cancer. Due to lack of awareness women feel shy to discuss this issue with others. Dr Karmakar discussed about this issue in details. She also advised that if any one feels such lump or tumor in her breast she must share it to her family members and consult a doctor immediately. After this discussion she also discussed about AIDS. How HIV-AIDS spreads, what are the symptoms and what measures to be taken to prevent.
She also discussed about menstrual health and hygiene.
The programme concluded with some suggestions given by the doctors. After the programme all the participants joined a fellowship lunch.
Health Check up Camp
On 8th April, 2018 a health check up camp was organized by Swadhina at the Community Hall of Benasole Panchayat of Jharkhand. Dr. Sreelekha Karmakar and Dr Dilip Karmakar from Kolkata examined the health of 40 women and children who attended the camp from adjacent villages namely Benasole, Fauji Basti, Kadamdih, Amainagar and Sohda.
Here blood pressure of the participants was measured by the doctors. Besides diseases like cough and cold, skin problems also examined and prescribed medicines for remedial measure advised. It was noticed that most of the aged women suffer from blood pressure problem, weakness, giddiness, waist pain, arthritis, eye problem etc. Dr Sreelekha prescribed medicines for them and also advised them to visit any Govt. hospital for further follow up or regular treatment. Dr suggested taking plenty of green vegetables, pulses and other natural low cost nutritious food, which are easily available and accessible in the villages. Dr. Sreelekha also advised pregnant mothers to take iron tablets regularly. She said women should keep her healthy because a family’s good health depends on a house mother or a house wife. She has to take care of all the family members.
As a follow up activity it was planned that Swadhina volunteers Yeshoda Mardi and Papiya Sharma will visit these villages on weekly basis with blood pressure measuring instrument and report to the organization.