Log in

Back

Project: Preventive Health
Sustainable Well Being Initiative

Introduction

Preventive care is an approach to healthcare that focuses on maintaining wellness and good health rather than treating illnesses when they occur. Preventive care is not only the most cost-effective approach to healthcare, but it is also designed to prevent or delay illnesses and diseases,which in turn increases life expectancy. Preventive measures decrease disease incidence and reduce the strain on limited healthcare resources.

Treating even one child with a serious condition incurs significant expenses. Limited health care resources are then diverted from multiple other children who could benefit with less expense. Thus, our goal is to prevent illnesses from becoming serious through education, awareness, and preventive measures. Taking a preventive care approach to healthcare enables us to efficiently use resources and maximize the number of children we are able to help.

Challenge

  • In India, illiteracy, poverty, and lack of awareness and access to healthcare resources contribute to the underutilization of healthcare services for routine infant, child, and maternal wellness checks. 
  • Limited healthcare resources, lack of adequate staff, medications and functioning equipment limit the number of people that can be treated in a timely and effective manner.

Solution

Ekam’s goal is to maximize the number of lives saved or treated, with a cost-effective and lasting approach to bring a change in the entire community’s health and wellbeing. Multiple interventions are done by Ekam towards this goal.

Trained Ekam staff:

  • Conduct health screening camps
  • Coordinate outreach campaigns to spread awareness about the importance of antenatal care and mobilize mothers to seek it.
  • Increase awareness about the importance of immunizations.
  • Sanitize labor rooms
  • Conduct Microbial surveillance to prevent infections
  • Organize Nutrition education camps
  • Train community health workers
  • Teach the community about topics such as maternal and child health, general health, and government health resources such as emergency medical response support, insurance schemes, and free health programs. 
  • Reach children at a young age by conducting school training, promoting volunteerism through drives, and establishing youth clubs.

Impact Stories from the Field

Preventive Care

Before established programs in one community, a pregnant woman came to the hospital right as she was going into labor. Throughout her pregnancy, she did not receive prenatal care or attend wellness checkups so she never knew that she had heart disease. During childbirth, her heart could not sustain the strain and both her and the baby passed away. The doctors tried to save them but were unable to. If she had proper prenatal care, her condition could have been diagnosed and appropriate precautions would have been taken to save the mother and the baby. Ekam works in the community so that no mother or child loses their life to preventable causes.

Emergency Resources

A pregnant woman collapsed in a village and someone in the crowd who had previously attended Ekam’s workshop on healthcare resources shouted, “Call 108 for an ambulance”. The ambulance arrived and took her to safety in a timely manner. In many remote villages, information about emergency resources is not common knowledge. Ekam helps to save lives by working at the grassroot level to educate people about the healthcare resources available to them.

Screening Programs

Ekam conducts health screening programs in government schools to identify children who may need medical treatment. For example, sometimes children with heart conditions may have few or no symptoms and their condition can go un-diagnosed until it is too late. Through ’s screening programs, the organization identified 120 kids with heart conditions. then helped the parents to navigate healthcare resources, government insurance schemes, and paperwork. All the children received care using government funds earmarked for this purpose at no cost to the parents.

Youth Volunteer Program

About 40% of newborn deaths and 50% of maternal deaths occur on the day of birth. Ekam trains youth volunteers in villages to check up on newborn babies and educate mothers on how to properly care for them. One 10th grade volunteer trained by Ekam did a routine examination of a newborn baby and referred the baby to a nurse because she believed that the baby had neonatal diabetes. This is a very rare condition that even Dr. Sai, a pediatrician herself, had never seen. Ekam immediately arranged for the baby to be transferred to a higher-level facility and tested.

The baby indeed had neonatal diabetes at birth. This condition may be more common than we think, but many babies go un-diagnosed and die without proper treatment. Remarkably, with training from , a volunteer in 10th grade was able to check for and identify common and uncommon medical conditions ultimately saving lives in her village. ’s network and structure ensure that every child has access to appropriate healthcare resources.

Vaccination

Often in rural areas, superstitions and myths about vaccines dissuade many people from receiving them in a timely manner or at all. For example, when Pulse Polio–an initiative to give polio vaccinations across India within a two-day span–happened, many well-meaning but ill-informed mothers hid their babies from vaccination officers. In collaboration with UNICEF, Ekam works to improve vaccine compliance, especially among those who missed vaccinations due to COVID-19. Ekam trains local village volunteers to educate the community about important health topics using strategies like role-playing, puppet shows, and other formats that are easy to understand so that villagers become more open to health measures such as vaccines.

Success Stories

M. Manimegalai

As a mentor volunteer, I contacted high-risk mothers over the phone and explained about maternal health and newborn care. I also gathered information from four mothers about the services available at the hospitals they visited and taught them about safety measures to be taken during COVID times.

As an Anganwadi worker in Melaeral Village, Thoothukudi M. Manimegalai District, I have been proactively supporting women to follow good MCH practices in my community.

Anganwadi workers

An Estimated Date of Delivery tracking in progress in Theni district. Such tracking helps healthcare workers/volunteers monitor the mother's ANC visits and is a good opportunity to promote among pregnant women the use of skilled attendance at birth, healthy behaviour such as breastfeeding and early postnatal care.

Album

Copyright© 2021-22 EKAM USA. All Rights Reserved.
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software