Project Description

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.

Nutrition

One of the most important children’s health issues addressed by PRASAD is nutrition.  In India, more than 60 million preschool children have developmental deficiencies resulting from malnutrition. According to UNICEF, one third of the world’s malnourished children live in India. Lack of nutrition impedes children’s growth, and makes them susceptible to disease — about 50 percent of all childhood deaths have been attributed to malnutrition.

In 2014, the long-standing Milk Project evolved to form the Nutrition Program. The frequency of deliveries increased to six days a week and nutritional supplements and snacks have been added. The Nutrition Program serves children up to 6 years of age at schools spread throughout the Tansa Valley and provides more than 4,500 servings of milk and nutritional snacks each month. The program has been successful in reducing malnutrition and raising the immunity levels of children, as well as pregnant and nursing mothers in the area.

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