Project Description

communityhealth Community Health

Community Health

PRASAD Chikitsa’s Community Health Programs are effective because they are comprehensive and far-reaching. Our community medical programs meet people’s immediate health needs such as illnesses and injuries, while the preventive initiatives are achieving long-term, sustainable improvements in the welfare of individuals and communities.

PRASAD Chikitsa’s approach to Community Health Care is holistic; we respond to people’s physical and mental health concerns and to the social and environmental conditions that contribute to those concerns.

PRASAD’s Family Health Center is home to many of those initiatives, including the Reproductive and Child Health Program, Accredited Social Health Activist Training Program and the School Health and Nutrition programs.

Reproductive and Child Health

The Reproductive and Child Health Program educates pregnant women about the importance of regular prenatal care to monitor and manage any complications as well as to teach mothers about childcare, nutrition, hygiene and other topics to help ensure healthy pregnancies and safe deliveries. 

Activities of the Reproductive and Child Health Center include:

  • Training staff in prenatal, natal, neonatal and postnatal care
  • Training Accredited Social Health Activists (an enhancement of the former Dai or Midwife Program)
  • Setting up transportation links between remote villages and the nearest medical facilities
  • Maintaining a referral system to nearby obstetrics facilities, primary health centers and hospitals

Among the program’s achievements has been a significant increase in the number of infants whose birth weight exceeds the Indian national average birth weight of 2.7 kg (just under six pounds.)

Accredited Social Health Activist Training
(formerly the Midwife Training)

The PRASAD Chikitsa Reproductive Child Health program trains women as Accredited Social Health Activists or ASHAs. Each ASHA works with the people of her own community. The ASHAs counsel women on birth preparedness, the importance of a safe delivery, breast-feeding, bottle-feeding and the care of young children. ASHAs also teach women about immunization, contraception and preventable infections. She provides information on health standards such as nutrition, basic sanitation and hygienic practices as well as healthy living. She also helps people gain access to government services such as immunizations, pre-and-post natal check-ups and supplementary nutrition.

School Health

Many factors contribute to children not receiving medical care such as poverty, lack of knowledge and unavailable transportation. Without regular care, minor health concerns can be missed and potentially escalate into more serious problems. PRASAD Chikitsa offers health camps at schools in the villages to assess the children’s health with a physical examination, a dental checkup, vision screening and distribution of medicine and vitamins.  PRASAD Chikitsa believes that healthy children grow up to be healthy adults, and so PRASAD emphasizes health education and prevention just as much as treatment.

Food Security

Food Security
Food Security is having reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. Achieving it required a multi-faceted, sustainable approach. We work across our Agriculture, Women’s Empowerment and Health Care programs to help families overcome poverty and become self-reliant and self-sustaining.

The Situation in India
The hunger and poverty rates in India are high, especially in rural areas where a majority of the population lives, a third of them in poverty. To give you an idea, 24% of the world’s hungry live in India: 195.9 million, or 14.5%, are malnourished, including nearly 45% of children under age 5. In the Tansa Valley, malnutrition and poverty rates are higher.
The negative health and economic impact of malnutrition can affect communities for generations. Lack of proper nutrition impedes children’s physical and intellectual growth; makes them more susceptible to disease and more likely to remain health-challenged in adulthood; and adversely affects their life-long earning power.
Here’s our Approach

  • We start at the beginning with our Reproductive and Child  Health Program, educating women on the importance of nutrition in prenatal care and childcare to ensure healthy pregnancies, births and beyond.
  • We monitor nutritional health for infants and young children at our Family Health Center and provide health checkups and education to adolescents through our School Health Camps.
  • Kitchen Gardens are ways to engage the whole family in growing fresh, nutritious vegetables. We provide the seeds and technical assistance throughout. Kitchen gardens help to diversify a family’s diet and sometimes provide extra to sell at market, boosting family income.
  • When women are empowered, families eat better and girls are more likely to get an education. Our Women’s Self-Help Groups (SHG’s) help women save and invest in each other, get business training, and build the confidence to earn incomes of their own, giving them independence and power at home. 80% of our SHG members are farmers.
  • Through our Agriculture Program, we provide access to resources and training for farmers to increase productivity and diversity with second crops – fruit, flowers, and vegetables – they use at home and sell at market, which helps families earn additional income to purchase protein-rich foods to supplement their diets.

Milk Project and Nutrition Program
From 1984 to 2019, PRASAD’s long-standing Milk Project and Nutrition Program delivered milk, nutritional supplements and snacks to children up to 6 years of age at daycare centers spread throughout the Tansa Valley.  In recent years, PRASAD was providing more than 14,000 servings per month.  This program has been instrumental in reducing the malnutrition rate in children from 43% in 2015 to 17% by the end of 2018.

In August 2019, the Ministry of Women and Child Development required all non-governmental organizations to stop distributing food at daycare centers.  Consequently, PRASAD Chikitsa has paused its Nutrition Program.  We hope this will be resolved in the near future.

MAKE A DONATION >