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The future is not completely beyond our control

It is the work of our own hands

Robert F. Kennedy

Reproductive Child Health

During the past 25 years, there has been a continuous reflection on the effectiveness of the existing health care systems in India and other developing countries and how these systems are relevant to the health issues among rural populations Government agencies, voluntary groups and funding agencies actively involved in rural health have tried to analyze the inadequacies in the existing health systems, to see what positive changes could be made and also to examine the contribution of voluntary groups in the field of rural health.
Most of the families living in these villages are basically agricultural labourers and are extremely poor. They find employment seasonally, are paid very meagre wages, and condition of  especially women and children is deplorable. The low female literacy rate among the target women can be attributed mainly to the high work participation of women and girls. They live in unhygienic environment with poor sanitation facilities. They have no awareness of health problems and the diseases caused by water related contamination and improper sanitation. But the women have their economic strength. She is a worker, a producer of goods and services and has the skill of her occupation. She has the experience of work and is used to hard, strenuous work. Her loyalty to the family and particularly children is another strong side of her. Her eagerness to learn and progress, if given an opportunity, is her strength. This is where NGOs can play a vital role. NGOs can educate the people, particularly women, regarding the basics of health and sanitation to ensure proper use and higher health standards. Eventually all these will lead to an improved quality of life among the people.
We have decided to work with young girls in the villages and create awareness about preventive health care and health aspects. The concept of human rights is not new but human right for girls is. It has taken feminists and advocates of women’s rights over two decades to conclude, that the status of women and that of their human rights are directly linked to the status of girls. How girls are treated and motivated, conditions their behavior and entitlements afterwards.

Measures aimed at girls, are more logical and productive, because they are proactive rather than remedial. In other words empowered women cannot retroactively create an empowered child. They can help empower the next generation of girls.  And empowered girls can only lead to empowered women and empowered families. With this in mind, we started educating young girls in the villages in health as well as socio-economic aspects of health.

The first broad objectives of the programme-
GHH with the ideas based on its own understanding of rural health problems and by observing similar programmes of other NGOs, has framed some broad term objectives for the health programme.
Broad term objectives are- To bring health care close to the people, within walking distance if possible, through local trained personnel

Short term objectives- We have framed some short term aims and objectives based on our own observations and experience in the Project area.

With the ideas based on its own understanding of rural health problems and by observing the health programmes of other NGOs, we have framed some broad term objectives for the health programme.

Short term aims and objectives are –

  • To train local persons in health care, which we feel is most important.

  • To reduce vitamin deficiencies, especially Vitamin A and educate the people on the same for prevention.

  • To prevent water-borne diseases, by providing health education to people, especially the women.

  • To prevent grade III malnutrition by education, demonstration and treatment of I and II grade malnutrition.

  • To provide sanitation facilities with people’s contribution and education.

  • To create awareness among the mothers about importance of immunization and  to get all children immunized  under universal immunization programme carried out by Government of India. 

  • To educate female children and young mothers and women about family planning.

  • To educate mothers and the young Girls about Ante-natal care, delivery and post-natal care.

  • To educate the communities especially the men about STD & AIDS and create awareness about these diseases and use of condoms



Primary Health care as defined by WHO, and what UNICEF calls “Child Survival Revolution”, constitutes such measures as:

  • Monitoring of infant and child growth.
  • Oral Dehydration for treatment of diarrhea.
  • Promotion of breast feeding.
  • Universal childhood immunization.

Of course, these measures undergo some modification from country to country.  In addition, it has recently been argued that basic Primary Health Care is not sufficient, without the inclusion of such vital measures as sanitation, family planning, ante-natal, P.N. care, deliveries, treatment of minor ailments along with health education.

We feel that the following measures are essential for people’s basic health care and the CHWs will be given training basing on these measures:

  • Ante-natal delivery and Post-natal care.
  • Treatment of diarrhea with ORT.
  • Reduction of vitamin deficiencies mostly keeping in mind the prevalence of vitamin - A deficiency
  • Weaning foods encouragement as early as possible.
  • Childhood immunization.
  • Sanitation.
  • Family Planning & use of temporary methods of contraceptives by women.
  • Health Education.
  • Early treatment of minor ailments.
  • Awareness of STD, HIV/AIDS and use of contraceptives

Since malnutrition and poor health are largely the end result of poverty, no health programme by itself, can hope to eradicate all diseases and achieve all round health for the poor.

This has to come through, an improved social economic and political awareness by the people themselves.  Through community organization and also through women Self Help Groups and education, we are working to help the people become aware of the problems surrounding them and to seek for their own solutions.

While it is necessary that people should know their rights under the existing health system and also to be able to organize them to ask for these services, this alone does not provide people with the very essential knowledge and understanding to meet the urgent and immediate needs that face them in their daily lives.

We feel that the emphasis in our health programme on training, education and independence for the poor in their own health care, will be beneficial to the people both now and in the future.  And these experiences in health will also contribute towards a better understanding for an improved health system in the country.


Attitude is little thing
that makes a big difference
Winston Churchill
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