Child Health Mela in Jibhi 7 – 10th JulyWe’ve just completed our child health mela in the villages of Khadagarh panchayat. It has been a big effort with a team from Manali supporting and it was a great success. We started on 4th July with visits to villages with the Kala Jatha (village
theatre team from SAHARA NGO) to put up posters and tell people about the mela. Then over four days we ran the mela in 5 different villages.
There was lots of action – we had one stall with nutrition posters and displays and teaching. Sara and Prema worked together to make soy pranthas for mothers and children to sample, as well as a weaning food – “Sathu” made
from a mix of ground and roasted rice, barley and wheat. We vaccinated children a total of 216 children with first doses of MMR and Hepatitis B. It was great to have the help of Miriam – visiting nurse from Switzerland for vaccinating and cold chain management. Jasmine did eye checks on all the children and prescriped glasses for a number of older women. All children
were measured for height and weight and we found a very worrying feature that over 70% of the children were under the 5th centile for weight indicating high levels of undernutrition. Robyn handed out the Vitamin A supplementation and deworming tablets.
Pushpa also performed a nutritional assessment on 50 children reviewing their diet over the past 24 hours. This will provide essential information to assess where and how under-nutrition is occurring.
The ‘natak’ / drama and song by the group from SAHARA was great and children and parents laughed and watched riveted. Top performer was our own Kantha Devi playing as Dr Ji, telling how to feed a young boy who hadn’t had enough breakfast before school! Padam Singh did all the organizing and coordinating with villages and was invaluable in this role. Thanks to all those who helped in different ways – and thanks especially to Payson Stevens and Kamla Kapur and friends and My Himachal for the funding support.
Earth Scientist, Author, Hiker and Traveler, Payson is a trained earth scientist and founder of InterNetwork, Inc and InterNetwork Media, Inc. Stevens has been an advisor to Great Himalayan National Park since 2000.