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On 7th Feb.2013, ladies teachers of Surya Bharti School went to villages with a mobile clinic team run by NGO Root Institute in Bodhgaya. It was about one hour by car to get to the villages where it is located near the border of Bihar and Jharkhand state.
Dr.Sanjay sir explained to the teachers about the activity and what is the purpose of his team. It was very interesting for me and lots of wisdom as a social worker has given us.
Before starting the mobile clinic, NGO facilitator and a social worker from the village explained about diseases. This time, TB (tuberculosis) was explained. The facilitator said that they came here not only for giving villagers the medicine but also giving them knowledge of the diseases so that they can prevent being ill by themselves.
Meeting with villagers about health education in a village, Bihar, India on 5th Feb.2013.We discussed how we can co-operate and what we can do together.
The place where we had the meeting was very familiar for me because it was the starting point of our activity. The building was built by my husband as a school, after our school shifted to
next village, we donated the building to the village for public. Then it was used as governmental school and a clinic. We talked to the village leaders to give us a permission to use one of the
rooms for our activity of health education. The leader said, "it was yours, you donated this building, so it is unnecessary to get a permission from us".
We decided about the selection of the comity members will be done by the villagers, and the members are 5 gents and 5 women. And they will select 2 social workers (a man and a woman) in order to work with us.
A teacher told about domestic violence by husband, she said it is bad and men should take care of their wives as goddess (Devi in Hindi, after marriage, the wives are called "Devi" in custom in Bihar. Devi means goddess.). Then, the leader said "You are right. Wives are goddess. But recently, we admire them as goddess Kali(very strong goddess in Hindu)."
We laughed together.
We had a great time with them.
Health Education Project Akiko Hatano(public health nurse)
Hoping babies will be born safely and grow healthy in India...
In December, 2010, we have started the Health Education Project, and held first program at Bodhgaya.
In India, more than 1830000 children (below 5 years old) died every year. 40% of them died within a few weeks after their birth. And 70000 of pregnant women died in a year. I have known this, and I heard that Master Okawa said “I hope our group can spread our activity beyond red cross in the world”, something push my back to go to Bodhgaya. The concept of this project is : Not only providing medical treatment, but also providing health education for villagers, we would like to support them to improve their health status, and to make their environment safely to train their soul on the earth.
I found ladies teachers have strong conscious on the problems of health in village, and they told me the situation. “There are some problems in 55% of childbirth in village.” “In village, they give a birth without doctor, nurse, or experts, and at home with the help of unqualified midwife.” Most of them were forced to marry in teen age, they repeat miscarriage and having delivery babies many times, they become sick. I knew the reasons, lack of knowledge of nutrition, and having problems in sanitary customs( washing dishes by mud, etc.).
They don’t get checking by doctor because not only economical problem but also they don’t know they have health problems. I felt the necessity of reforming their conscious.
I brought weighing machine for baby, manometer (blood pressure gauge), some methods for sex education. I demonstrated using by them to show ladies teachers. If women have conscious on health problems, children’s health will be improved. Women are very important and center of family.
After that, we went to a village and held a health education class for 200 mothers. I found the mothers in the front are girls like my daughter, I amazed why so young, and having love for them as daughter.
I told them knowing weight of baby, mothers can find their baby is growing.
And I also told if the weight of baby don’t increase, mothers should think about the reason and what should they do, we can think together.
Then, I showed them some pictures of baby inside mother’s stomach. I told when mother can not take enough nutrition, baby also says “I am humgry”, or “baby want to remain in your stomach” as they can image that mother’s health effects baby’s health. All heard my words enthusiastically.
After the claas, we visited a newborn baby’s house. The baby’s name is prince (boy) who was born on 22nd October. 41 days after his birth. I checked mother’s breast, and milk, it was good and the baby grow healthy. He is a good baby.
The photo (right) is the scene of house in village.
I found problems by visiting home:
1. living environment (lack of sun light, and wind)
2. Sanitary customs (washing dishes by mud and ash)
3. Maintain of water
4.Food customs and nutrition (both mother and child)
No record of pregnant and delivery (needs of mother’s health note)
Clothes (underwear, material absorbing sweat)
I think what the most necessary for child to grow healthy is education itself. They should have knowledge about health, sanitary, and nutrition, and have awareness on problems, and think together. It is important to record on mother’s health note, and enhance their awareness. After that, medical support like providing powder milk, works.
If we can invite young women from India to take medical education in Japan, they will be the core to make the society in village. If we can build the system like that, and succeed, it will be adopted in other developing countries.
I wish to bring health over the world together with light of Buddha.
Hoping babies will be born safely and grow healthy in India...
There still remain customs of little age marriage in village. We saw many teen age mothers.
Health Checking by Doctor
We hold health checking of our students. A local doctor comes to check them up. Doctor says, the most probrem of them are, dizzy, headach, stomachach, pain in foot, having cold easily and recover slow, some symptoms of malnutrition, skin deseace by insanitany. We provide vitamins and medicines for their simptoms.
There was no school in a village. A few children went to a school by walking long way. Hundreds or more children were playing and working. Of course they could not read and write. They are very poor and their family can only afford to eat.
We established a school (without tuition fee) in the village.
More than 500 children have got education in our school since 2001.
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