“It was for the first time that these hands that have held equipments all their life, were holding a pen.” From struggling to figure out how to open a pen to completing a drawing, Bhera* Ba proudly says that he will show this drawing to his granddaughter. Even in this time of poor health, I see a big smile on Bhera Ba’s face .
Bhera Ba and many other TB patients like him attend the Swasthiya Diwas held at AMRIT clinics. Swasthiya Diwas is a monthly meeting for the patients suffering from Tuberculosis and who visit our (Basic Healthcare Services, my fellowship host organization) centres for treatment. This day helps them to understand about the disease, bust myths, know the importance of drug compliance and nutritional aspects.
If there is one day that I look forward to in the whole month, it is the Swasthiya Diwas. In my previous blog, I had shared how this day was conceptualized and the different aspects that go in together to make it a success. For the past three months, I have been given the task of organizing and conducting the Swasthiya Diwas. I found the opportunity very exciting and started thinking on how can we make this more engaging and meaningful for everyone.
As an organizer, we have to keep in mind that these are patients suffering from a disease and are weak. To keep them engaged in a task, expect them to listen constantly and attentively to things that are being presented to them for the first time, and they grasping all of it, is a little too much for us to expect.
This time, we decided to design activities around the topics to be explained, making it less drab and more relevant. Here are pictures from the recent Swasthiya Diwas where the activity ‘ताकत के लिए जरुरी तिरंगा भोजन‘ was to introduce different nutritious food with the reference of tri-colors .
All the above pictures have been clicked at three different locations of the clinics, covering the same event. The Swasthiya Diwas at AMRIT clinics is evolving over the time with increased number of patients who are now actively participating in the discussions. The knowledge imparted through these sessions has helped many patients from falling prey to myths, informal health providers and made them aware about the nutrition available to them locally. The provision of seeds for kitchen gardening and poultry distribution gives the patient an opportunity to bring the learning to practice and include the required nutrition in their diet.
Also, the counseling for skill training, opens up a chance for acquiring skills such as mobile repairing, motor repairing, plumbing. Thus preventing them from again taking up odd jobs like marble polishing, construction laborers and mine workers, which are no more suitable for them, keeping their health condition in mind.
We at AMRIT clinics hope to reach and educate more patients with platforms like Swasthiya Diwas and improve their life, helping them the fight against Tuberculosis. If you happen to have more ideas that we can try out, or will like to visit us for one of the Swasthya Diwas, do let me know! You are most welcome.