imgp1703.JPGThe My Himachal and Lady Willingdon Hospital/ Jibhi Clinic alliance continued for their third year of local health care in the Upper Banjar/Seraj Valley. In 2005 and 2006 the children of Kharaghard Panchayat (assemblage of local villages into local governing entity) were vaccinated for common childhood illnesses (MMR, Hepatitis B), nutritional supplements (Vitamin A, zinc) were given, and de-worming provided (details here). Child health assessments were carried out (weight, height, diet, vision, and dental). The main finding in 2006 was that 85% of the children were suffering from malnutrition (stunting, low weight) and associated health problems. Health Mela 2007 will cover five villages (Seri, Tandi, Thnaar, Kandi, and Mihar) from Tandi Panchayat (adjacent to Kharaghard Panchayat). This will actually cover children from approximately ten villages. A brief summary for the five villages follows:

SERI VILLAGE: 4 June 2007. The program of immunizations and child health surveys started with the village of Seri. We set up in the plaza near the local school. About twenty people, half from Lady Willingdon Hospital staff were present including eight women health workers who had been trained by JIBHI CHAI last year, with partial funding by My Himachal. The NGO, SAHARA continued as last year, with Kala Jatha (Street Theater) giving performances with health issue themes (nutrition, alcoholism).

While the children were waiting for care, games were played and the winners received prizes of toothbrush and toothpaste. 47 children were immunized, representing approximately 95% coverage.
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TANDI VILLAGE: On. June 5, we left from Jibhi clinic at 9.00 am. After a one hour steep walk on up hill we arrived a govt primary school. The health program covered for two villages (Tandi and Bhuaa). Villagers were quite exited at our presence and brought almost all their children for immunization. 42 children were examined and vaccinated. Malnutrition was prevalent.

THANNAR VILLAGE: June 6. We drove approx. 3+km on the Gadagushani road followed by a 40 minute walk up go the Govt Primary School. The local teacher was extremely helpful providing a separate room for examinations while in another he continued his lessons . 57 children were examined and vaccinated.

KHANDI VILLAGE: June 7. After 25 minute from the Jibhi clinic, we set up on the verandah of a house provided by a local villager. Khandi is a Scheduled Class (SC) village and the poorest of the panchayat that was visited. Malnutrition was acute, hygiene limited and the children were very vulnerable to health and developmental problems. 55 children were examined and vaccinated.

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MIHAR VILLAGE: June 8. Mihar is a larger center for surrounding villages and children from Saach, Soom ,Naranh, and Mihar were examined at the Govt Primary School. 48 children were examined and vaccinated.

FIRST MONTH RESULTS: A total of 249 children were examined from June 4-8. Follow-up visits to the same five villages will take place July 2-7 and then again September 3-7.85% of village children were suffering from malnutrition. Refinement of the survey data showed that village girls and Schedule Class were suffering at a 90% rate. One interesting finding was that the Tandi Panchayat records indicated approximately 160 children (under 12 years) and we examined 249 children.

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  1. says: sandeep chandel

    Respected sir/ madam

    Jai jai…

    I am working in District Collector offiece, Bilaspur H.P.
    As I was searching Himachal related sites, then I excessed “My Himachal NGO”. This NGO has organised health camp in very remote areas of HP which is a very commendable job doing this NGO… In future course of time only NGO’s would be considered reliable agencies in executing public related development activities whereas Govt. agencies are proving as a flop one at present held acitvities.
    I wish all success to You and your NGO and hope that your public oriented activites will help the poor and downtrodens of our society.

    You can ask me any time for any sort of help/ suport from my side for the welfare of your NGO as well as for the well being of Himachal/ Himachalies.

    with regards,

    sandeep chandel.

    1. says: Dinesh Kumar Sharma

      Hello Sandeep
      I am Dinesh from VPO amarpur teh ghumarwin Distt bilaspur H.P. can i have your mail address i am also looking for some NGO which can help me in bringing up harticulture set up on my 22 bigha of land. i am living in delhi and getting help from govt offices is very difficult.


  2. Programme Experiences

    My Himachal Immunisation Initiative – India

    My Himachal is a United-States-based non-political, non-religious organisation made up of people of Himachal origin (Himachal Pradesh is a state in India) and friends of Himachal Pradesh worldwide. This Non-Resident Indian (NRI) group has, every year since 2005, offered an immunisation programme within several remote villages in Kulla valley (in Himachal Pradesh), using research to understand the health needs in these areas – as well as entertaining-yet-educational activities like games, street theatre, and dance – to mobilise community members to vaccinate their children.

    Main Communication Strategies
    As part of this initiative, organisers work with the Lady Willingdon Hospital/Jibhi Clinic to vaccinate children against illnesses such as Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) and Hepatitis B, to provide Vitamin A and zinc supplements, and to undertake health surveys that involve assessing the diet/nutrition of local children and measuring their weight and height. Printed awareness literature is handed out to inform parents about the purpose of these immunisation and health care/research approaches.

    A central strategy at these events involves the use of street theatre (“Kala Jatha”), with performances on health issues such as nutrition and alcoholism held; the goal is to creative a festive atmosphere for promoting health. In addition, a local non-governmental organisation (NGO) called SAHARA performs at these vaccination events, using humour and music to promote health messages. The leader of My Himachal comments that this group’s Kala Jatha theatre “is very popular and the skits elicit a lot of laughter. Some of the older village men join in with dancing. At the end of the street theater, more music is performed. Villagers do the local Himachal Pradesh dance, called a Nati, with members of our Health Mela team joining in to form a large circle dance. The mood is very joyous and festive and the dance seems very symbolic of our connection here, high in the mountains.”

    While the children are waiting for care (immunisation), games are played – with winners receiving prizes of a toothbrush and toothpaste (in an effort to encourage good dental hygiene).

    Development Issues
    Immunisation and Vaccines, Health, Nutrition, Children.

    Key Points
    Many of the villages that My Himachal visits are difficult for medical practitioners to reach. For example, the village of Sajwaar is at 9,000 feet elevation, and can only be accessed by a 3-hour hike from paved roads. Dr. Kaaren Mathias explains that “We realised that the best way to reach remote villages was to hike up to them. It’s usually pretty difficult for a mother to bring a few children down to our Jibhi clinic.”

    As part of the June 2007 health mela (health camp) sponsored by My Himichal, a total of 249 children were examined in a 4-day period. Follow-up visits to the same 5 villages were scheduled take place in July and September of that year. Organisers found upon their initial visit that 85% of village children were suffering from malnutrition; refinement of the survey data showed that girls were suffering at a 90% rate.

    For more information, contact:
    Avnish Katoch
    My Himachal
    [email protected]
    My Himichal blog
    My Himachal website

    “Nonprofit offers vaccines to Gaddi villages in India”, by Xeni Jardin, August 15 2006; My Himichal blog; Health Mela Cheers Kullu”, Times of India, August 1 2006; and email from Avnish Katoch to The Communication Initiative on August 1 2007.

    Placed on the Communication Initiative site August 02 2007.
    Last Updated August 02 2007.

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