Tansa Valley, India—PRASAD Chikitsa’s Community Health Programs are effective because they are comprehensive and far-reaching. Our community medical programs meet people’s immediate needs, while the preventative initiatives are achieving long-term, sustainable improvements in the welfare of individuals, families 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.

In 2009, in response to growing demand for services, we expanded the center and upgraded the facilities, thanks to PRASAD’s donors and a grant from Abbot Laboratories in partnership with Direct Relief International.

Reproductive and Child Health (RCH)

The Reproductive and Child Health Program was launched in 2002 in order to instruct pregnant women on the importance of coming for regular prenatal checkups, so that the staff there can detect and manage any serious complications. The second objective is to teach expectant mothers about childcare, nutrition, hygiene and other topics, so that they have healthy pregnancies and safe deliveries. Learn More…

Preventing Rubella

Rubella Prevention Program

FHC_Rubella_Camp_15-12_01First arrivals at PRASAD Chikitsa’s first rubella vaccination clinic on 8 December 2015. Now aware of the importance of being immunised, Hundreds more than the 927 registered flocked to Ganesphuri on the nominated day. Those unable to be treated under the pilot grant, registered for the next clinic, often paying 100 Rupees (about $1.50) towards the cost. showing they regard it as a high priority.

PRASAD Chikitsa medical staff, interns past and present and volunteer staff from Nair Hospital with some of the 1000 young women they processed and vaccinated on one day, 8 December 2105.PRASAD Chikitsa medical staff, interns past and present and volunteer staff from Nair Hospital with some of the 1000 young women they processed and vaccinated on one day, 8 December 2105.

Accredited Social Health Activist Training

The PRASAD Chikitsa Reproductive Child Health program was established in 2002, and Midwife or Dai Training has always been a key component. As of 2011, we expanded the curriculum into training for Accredited Social Health Activists or ASHAs. Learn More…

School Health

PRASAD Chikitsa believes that healthy children grow up to be healthy adults, and so PRASAD emphasizes education and prevention just as much as treatment. Every six months, PRASAD conducts health appraisals at schools in 11 villages in the Tansa Valley. The appraisal includes a physical examination, a dental checkup and distribution of medicine and vitamins. Learn More…

Adolescent Health

PRASAD’s medical staff and interns from Nair Hospital conduct regular information and question and answer sessions for adolescents at schools and colleges throughout the Valley. They seek to empower them by giving accurate information about their bodies and this stage of life, and discouraging high risk behavior. Many parents are unable to provide adequate or correct information on these matters.

The topics covered include the menstrual cycle, hygiene, sexually transmitted and reproductive tract infections and diet. The implications of underage marriage are also discussed. A video showing teenage actors dealing with these issues is also shown and is well received. Fears and misconceptions can cleared up. Any cases requiring medical attention were advised to follow up at PRASAD’s Anukampaa Health Centre in Ganeshpuri, or at visits of the Shree Muktananada Mobile hospital.

Adolescent Health issues training sessions

Underage Marriage

Many young women in rural Maharashtra still marry before the legal age of 18 (46% in 2008). UNICEF reports the numbers are declining slowly, but are still twice as high as in urban areas. These young women are more likely to be uninformed about sex and contraception, have lower self confidence, to make fewer decisions about their own lives, and to believe domestic violence is justified.

In 2008, UNICEF found that 2% of boys in Maharashtra had married under the age of 18.
Informing this vulnerable population and removing taboos against seeking  treatment is crucial for public as well as individual health.
For a useful four page overview of the incidence of child marriage, education levels,  child bearing and mortality, women’s empowerment and domestic violence see

How Early Marriage Compromises Girls’ Lives, Maharashtra 
Youth in India: Situation and Needs, Policy Brief Number 6, 2008, 4pp.
International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai.

A more recent detailed study covering all regions of India

Child Marriage in India 
UNICEF December 2012, 102 pp

Nutrition

According to UNICEF, one third of the world’s malnourished children live in India. Lack of nutrition retards the children’s growth, and makes them susceptible to disease — about 50 percent of all childhood deaths have been attributed to malnutrition. PRASAD Chikitsa has responded with two initiatives: the Meals Program, which serves children, and the Milk Project, which serves children and expectant and nursing mothers. Learn More…

Water & Sanitation

Unsafe water, poor sanitation and lack of hygiene are still common causes of illness and death. Many of these diseases are preventable.

‘Bang for development buck’, investing in water and sanitation is high on the list. A cost benefit analysis by the World Health Organisation [WHO] stated that each $1 invested could yield an economic return of between $3 and $34 and save up to $7.3 billion per year world wide.

Report on UN Millenium goals on improved water and sanitation for health
The Lancet, vol 365 February 26, 2005

UN resolution on right to cleam waterIn 2010, United Nations resolution 64/292 recognized the human right to water and sanitation. It also acknowledged that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realization of all human rights..

Sanitation

More than 72% of the world’s rural people relieve themselves behind bushes, in fields, or by roadsides. Of the 1 billion people in the world who have no toilet, nearly 600 million are in India.

Learn more about PRASAD’s toilet project …