Vivekananda Kendra is a pan-India organization working for the overall advancement of marginalized communities.
IDRF Partner Since: 2000
Focus Area: Health
Location(s): Arunachal Pradesh and Assam
Project Title(s): Fighting malnutrition among women and children in tribal villages of Arunachal Pradesh, Mobile Clinic and OPD Path-lab
Fighting malnutrition among women and children in tribal villages Lazu and Khimiyong circles in Tirap and Changlang Districts of Arunachal Pradesh
In the remote hilly villages, about 73% children are malnourished and about 55% women are anemic as a result of multiple pregnancies. With IDRF’s support and guidance, Vivekananda Kendra has started a project wherein, 200 children and 50 women from 12 villages with severe symptoms are being identified in the first phase. During the free medical camps people are being made aware of this new program and children are selected for intervention. These malnourished children will then be provided nutritious meals through Balwadis and women will be given dietary supplements by health workers.
Anemia and Hemoglobin testing for adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women will also be started soon. Regular health awareness camps will be conducted to monitor the changes and special care given to pregnant and lactating women. The families will be encouraged to grow more grains, vegetables and fruits for consumption at home in order to improve their health. This project will require us to raise $15,000 per year in order to fight malnutrition among children and women in remote tribal villages.
Mobile Clinic, OPD Path-lab
IDRF has been supporting mobile medical clinics over the past two decades, in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. The latest medical van was inaugurated in July 2014, in order to continue serving the medical needs of over 50,000 marginalized people from 35-40 of the most remote villages across Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. The van is used for free medical care for these villages, as well as conducting free medical camps several times a year. With the new van, the medical team is trying to reach out to even more remote villages, along the Indo-Myanmar borders of Arunachal Pradesh.
Within one year of getting the new van, the team was able to achieve tremendous success in conducting the following activities: 62 Medical camps benefitting 6,400 people; 69 basic health camps by health workers benefitting 1200 people; health workers’ orientation and training programs for 15 workers; 22 School Outreach Programs; village visits, malaria tests, administering deworming medicines to children and medicines for various ailments distribution by health workers; health awareness meetings benefitting more than 5,500 people; eye camps to detect cataract and glaucoma for 241 people and operating 13 patients so far, and dental camps to treat 103 patients.
Since then the mobile medical van has been regularly able to visit more remotely situated villages and offer medical services to the poor and impoverished villagers. These achievements have been highly commendable because of the tough geographical conditions of this area. Due to heavy landslides some of the roads are closed for several months and the health workers have to visit the villages on foot to provide basic medicines to the patients.
The medical needs of this region have been so dire, that IDRF established a new program called Rural Area Medical Aid (RAMA), whereby, medical doctors in the United States, donate $1,000/year to cover the annual operating costs of the van. IDRF is also working with them to make the program sustainable by charging nominal fees for medical services provided. Two members of IDRF’s RAMA group have also served in a free surgical camp organized at Tinsukia in Assam. These doctors made use of the IDRF van to serve the patients in the area, but faced acute scarcity of diagnostic equipment and instruments. The experience of these doctors has inspired IDRF to raise $ 55,000 to support a fixed location OPD-path lab with modern medical equipment, in Tinsukia.
Medical Camps organized by Vivekananda Kendra in Arunachal Pradesh
Donor and Volunteer Testimonial:
Dr. Arti Gehani, is a member of IDRF’s RAMA group and has served in a free surgical camp jointly sponsored by Vivekananda Kendra and other organizations in Arunachal Pradesh. According to Arti, “As physicians, it was joyful to share our skills, but it was also very difficult and frustrating due to lack of medical equipment. Despite the challenges, the experience was wonderful but heartbreaking at the same time. The people were humble and kind and very grateful for our services. I believe that I gained much more from this experience than the patients did”.
Please click on the web link given below to get more information on Vivekananda Kendra.