Amma honoured our health workers from across India at her 64th Birthday Celebrations in Amritapuri. Each one was called to the stage to receive a certificate for their dedicated work. Honourable Member of Parliament Sri KC Venugopal joined to assist in distributing the distinction.
Here is the big picture in which they are working:
Most of our villages are either isolated from fully trained doctors and hospitals or the doctor to patient ratio is not sufficient to cater the health needs.
“Millions cannot access India’s overburdened hospitals and inadequate medical facilities, a crisis illustrated by the fact that India is short of nearly 500,000 doctors, based on the World Health Organisation (WHO) norm of 1:1,000 population,” according to an IndiaSpend analysis of government data.
The shortage of doctors was one of the health management failures cited by the report of a parliamentary committee on health and family welfare, which presented its findings to both houses of Parliament on March 8, 2016.
Health workers are responsible for organising a wide range of activities such as:
- Holding medical clinics in villages by visiting physicians, nurses and pharmacists
- Keeping records of visiting patients with all relevant information
- Doing hospital referral trips
- Conducting regular health checkups
- Providing basic pre- and ante natal care for mothers and babies
- Making sure that children five years and under get timely immunisations as well as holding immunisation awareness drives
- Taking positive steps to reduce malnutrition cases
- Visiting anganwadis to give non-formal education
- Holding health education sessions on a wide range of topics from hand washing sessions to family planning methods
- Teaching regular yoga classes to inculcate healthy body and mind
- Coaching kitchen garden cultivation to so healthy fruits and vegetables are available to reduce cases of anaemia
- promoting preventive measures with traditional home remedies
The list could go on. In the big picture, the long-term goal of Amrita SeRVe is to achieve the targets for the reduction of Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR). This is to instil a strong population in India’s villages for the coming future—health in body, mind and heart.
The past year saw this first batch of health workers graduating with training in two phases at the Ramakrishna Mission Home of Service in Varanasi. Their team already has a rich experience in the field of health work from over the last 50 years. The next training for our health workers will soon take place there.