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Health

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According to a World Health Organisation 2012 report, though advances have been made to address communicable diseases, rapid changes in India’s society and lifestyles have led to the emergence of non-communicable diseases. A World Bank 2010 report informs that India is losing more than 6% of its GDP annually due to premature deaths and preventable illnesses.

At Concern India Foundation we believe that socio-economic development and health are so closely intertwined that it is impossible to achieve one without the other. We extend support to programmes that are working in the areas of preventive, remedial and rehabilitative health care.

The programmes work at different levels: early years, school years; community based activity, reproductive – maternal and child care, children in need of special care and any other support care.

Here are some of the health programmes that we support:

 

  • Child Malnutrition Prevention and Control (Mumbai) +
    The programme caters to the health needs of children of rag-pickers and women working on waste dumping grounds located in Deonar. The periphery of the dumping ground is home to the slum areas of Rafiq Nagar, Shivaji Nagar and Baiganwadi .Those living in the nearby slums are exposed to several health problems due to their proximity to the city’s decomposing waste. Rat bites, dog bites, infections to small injuries, viral fever, scabies, rashes, asthma, bronchitis, hay fever and malaria are common ailments in the area. The children pick up objects in the landfill site and play in the water, oblivious of the toxins and chemicals they are interacting with. The programme works towards providing a disease free childhood in order to enjoy a healthy and responsible adulthood. Their aims are to fight for an anemia free world for the children, and to sensitize adolescents to their reproductive rights and sexual health. With the help of dedicated staff and medical student volunteers, the programme has developed systems to assess malnourishment among young children at the beginning and end of the academic year - to understand the changes in the malnourishment status. This has also helped with evolving more appropriate strategies to work with children, teachers and parents. A comprehensive package of child nutrition programme based on WHO Guidelines has been finalized. The interventions are done in three phases i.e. through three intervention camps. It starts with an assessment of nutritional status of the balwadi/pre-school children, treatment of malnutrition, deworming, provision of Vitamin A, Iron and Folic Acid (IFA) and micronutrient supplements, promoting dietary modification for the child and family. It ends with a nutritional status evaluation of each child and is sustained in the form of information provided to teachers and mothers of pre-school/ balwadi children. A teachers’ sensitization programme has been developed to encourage them to support the programme. Health checkups are conducted in the community and in the schools through a mobile van in order to treat common ailments and to screen the children for congenital health conditions. Anemia and malnutrition are evaluated by doctors and nutritional supplements are prescribed. Appropriate referrals are made for further follow ups based on the initial diagnoses. Similarly, Information Education Communication (IEC) materials have been developed and traditional as well as innovative community occasions are being utilized to get the participation of families and teachers in the nutrition programme. The programme also reaches out to many more families in the slums through health checkup camps, awareness programmes on immunization, nutritional needs of young children, balanced meals in tiffin boxes, hygiene and sanitation and prevention of ill health.
  • Auditory-Verbal Therapy for Children with Hearing Impairments (Mumbai) +
    Most hearing impaired children have some amount of residuary hearing. This programme works with the Auditory Verbal Therapy Approach (AVT), which is a specialized type of therapy designed to teach deaf children to listen and speak, using their residual hearing. This is in addition to the constant use of amplification devices such as hearing aids, FM devices and cochlear implants. AVT emphasises speech and listening and discourages reliance on visual communications such as lip reading or sign language. AVT facilitates the integration of children into society as they pick up language skills and are able to listen and speak effectively. They provide opportunities to the hearing impaired children to develop their speech and language and give them exposure to various learning opportunities. One of the highlights of this programme is the role of the parents through the entire therapy. The organization believes that since the parents are the first source of learning for the children, the parents are in a better position to monitor the progress of the child. They conduct regular trainings to upgrade the professional skills of the staff and improve outcomes using new techniques.
  • Addressing Issues Pertaining to Adolescent Reproductive Health Education for Children (Bangalore/ Pune/ Mumbai) +
    In spite of stringent laws to protect children against sexual offences, little children continue to be abused both at home and in the community. Family and support systems do not know how to inform their children about safe and unsafe touch. Menstruation is an integral and normal part of human life; the subject is too often a taboo and has met with many negative cultural hindrances and attitudes due to the perceptions and cultural beliefs. As a part of our core theme commitment, we have initiated a project in Bangalore, Pune and Mumbai to address the Adolescent Reproductive Health Education for children. This includes sessions for younger children, adolescent girls and boys separately. Boys are also included as they too need awareness as they play an important role in ensuring a safe and conducive environment. This programme works for the children belonging to vulnerable backgrounds with limited access to information. The Project engages in a comprehensive reproductive health and child protection programme that reaches out to young girls and boys (aged 6-11), adolescent girls (aged 12-16) and adolescent boys (aged 12-16) separately. This is so that girls and boys are protected from abuse and girls manage adolescent changes in a healthy manner. This leads to behavioural changes in the children, which increase confidence and enhance their life skills.
  • Providing Quality and Cost Effective Health Care Facilities to 1200 Female Patients (Delhi) +
    The programme has been serving marginalized communities in Northern India i.e. Delhi- and its suburban areas, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan since 1999 through a number of socio- economic developmental actions, benefiting marginalized and underprivileged sections of the society. Its community development programmes are sustained through its production and trade activities based on Fair Trade standards and values. Health care programmes for the marginalized, particularly the artisan communities; is one of the requirements of the time. Health insurance facilities as well as medical support are provided by organizing health camps to benefit the larger community. The programme has established a project on Mutual Health Organization (MHO) in Badarpur, Delhi area. So far 450 families (1800 people) are members of the MHO. MHO is a community based mutual health fund created to cater to the health needs of the poor sections of the society at a price affordable to them. It allows people to share the risk by saving a small amount as solidarity so that in times of health crisis, the community represented by the CRs, can provide support to reduce the financial burden faced by the member family. The system is similar to the insurance industry. Here the risk of having a medical incident leading to unforeseen financial burden on the family is not “transferred” to an insurer, but is shared as the community’s responsibility. Protection of environment and sustainable ecology is one of the main concerns of the organization. Training is provided from time to time to encourage developing eco-friendly recyclable waste products. Rain water harvesting, tree plantation, climate change and water conservation programmes are organized in solidarity with the like-minded organizations.