Polska pomoc


Health promotion program in Arunachal Pradesh (India)

Arunachal Pradesh (AP) is the easternmost state of India, where tribes reside. It belongs to the poorest parts of the country – almost 34.6% of the population functions below the official poverty line. Poor public transport is a serious problem to the residents – it takes many hours to get to the nearest health centres, and during the monsoon season, many villages are cut off completely. The region lacks qualified medical personnel, the few health centres that are located within AP lack diagnostic and laboratory equipment as well as specialist doctors. Residents of Arunachal have to face many other problems, such as difficulties in accessing drinking water, poor telephone and Internet access, difficulties in access to education – illiteracy in the region, according to official data, is 27% among men and 41% among women (as at 2011).

As there is no access to primary healthcare, health education is extremely important. Knowledge related to preventing infectious diseases, proceeding in the case of the most frequent health problems and symptoms, if present, that must call for a consult with a physician. According to the WHO's World Health Report (2008), 70% of disease incidence can be prevented by basic prevention measures and health education. Introducing changes in human behaviour (e.g. paying more attention to personal hygiene in children and adults, boiling drinking water, drinking more fluids) will largely contribute to lowering the incidence of many dangerous diseases. Moreover, spreading the knowledge related to proceeding in the case of an illness or an injury is necessary, as it is probable that medical assistance might not be available.

Health promotion program in Arunachal Pradesh (India)

The general objective of the project is to increase the level of health among the residents of Arunachal Pradesh, an eastern region. It directly refers to the achievement of UN Millenium Development Goals (Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases by halting and beginning to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS, and by halting and beginning to reverse the spread of malaria and other major diseases). The goal will be achieved by increasing awareness and shaping population approaches regarding health behaviours.

A volunteer will run a series of prevention programmes in 10 selected villages of Arunachal Pradesh. The programmes will be addressed to different target groups, including school pupils and women. Moreover, the volunteer will contribute to the current programmes run by Seva Kendra (e.g. support for women, developing social skills in teenagers). Thanks to the training run in the Jamkhed centre that runs an effective healthcare programme for the residents of Maharashtra, the volunteer will be able to prepare a modern prevention programme adapted to the Indian contexts. It will also allow her to transfer the experiences from Jamkhed to Arunachal Pradesh, contributing to long-term improvement of the health situation in the region.

Before launching direct activities in Arunachal Pradesh, the volunteer will participate in a post-arrival training in the form of a monthly course “Community-led local health and development” organized by Comprehensive Rural Health Project. Thanks to the participation in the course, the volunteer will be able to better adapt the health promotion programme to the needs of the local population.

Afterwards, the volunteer will hold 10 trainings for different groups of beneficiaries. On average, each training will be attended by 50 persons. In total, at least 500 final beneficiaries will take advantage of the programmes.

Health promotion programme will cover the following topics:

  • principles of preventing the most common infectious diseases (diarrhoea, parasitic diseases, diseases caused by bacteria and fungi, skin diseases, infections of respiratory tract, tuberculosis, malaria, etc.)
  • personal and dental hygiene
  • sexually transmitted diseases and prevention (including HIV/AIDS)
  • women's health
  • principles of healthy nutrition
  • proceeding in the case of the most common ailments (diarrhoea, stomach pain, joints pain).

Moreover, the volunteer will join in the current actions of Seva Kendra by organizing workshops, participating in the daily classes, programme consults (e.g. regarding support for women's self-assistance groups, health of mothers and children, development of the youth).

During the stay in Arunachal Pradesh, the volunteer will continue to learn the Hindi language.

Within the educational initiative, a multi-media presentation will be prepared on the health problems present in the Arunachal Pradesh region. It will be addressed to school pupils and persons interested in global issues from Poland. The presentation will focus on insufficient personal hygiene (the so-called disease of dirty hands) as a serious health problem present both in the Global South and the Global North.

During the project, there will be workshops organized in Arunachal Pradesh, during which the participants will gain knowledge about the threads of insufficient hygiene as well as how to take care of personal hygiene properly. Some of the workshops will be addressed to teenagers who will also be trained in the basics of photography and creation of audio-visual materials. The result of the workshops will take the form of materials about the "disease of dirty hands" prepared by the teenagers themselves, which will be later professionally handled in order to prepare an attractive presentation.

That presentation will be published on-line and promoted by organisations that the volunteer and the Polish Medical Mission Association (PMM) cooperate or cooperated in the past, sent by e-mail (1500 persons) and promoted in the social media.

Health promotion program in Arunachal Pradesh (India)

Volunteer has been in India from 15 July to 19 December 2014. During her stay, she did a training in Comprehensive Rural Health Project Jamkhed organization, which helped her to adapt implemented actions to the characteristics of work in medical aid in Indian rural regions.

Volunteer carried out 17 educational medicine sessions for chosen groups of people living in the rural region Arunachal Pradesh, in which 780 people participated. This number has significantly exceeded, expected at the beginning of the project, forecasts (10 workshops for approximately 500 people). Thanks to the trainings, the awareness of inhabitants of Arunachal Pradesh about ways to prevent spreading the most common disease, has increased.

One of the tasks carried out by the volunteer in the project, was supporting Indian organization Seva Kendra Arunachal East, which, with cooperation with Polish Embassy in Delhi, organized a Computer Laboratory. Volunteer has also prepared an analysis concerning the possibilities of fundraising.

Within the scope of educational initiative, a film “Story from Arunachal” has been created, which presents the problems of North-East India and shall contribute to increasing the awareness of Polish audience about threats connected with loss of culture in the face of fast industrial changes, as well as show the meaning of basic medical education. The film was screened on 1 February 2015 in the Museum for Children in Warsaw. It is available online: https://vimeo.com/113577072.