Project – Health :: Health Guards
Village Health Guards Project:

In this developed state, there are several places and Vanavasi population deprived of Medical and health facilities. Ashram has started an initiative based on the concept of barefoot doctors. Educated youngsters in the hamlet are trained in basic concepts of health maintenance. Health Guards are helping the Vanavasi brothers in health maintenance at about 586 places in the state.

When volunteers of Vanavasi were working for the overall development of Vanavasi brothers, it was realized that health issues were rampant among the community. For Vanavasis the health and healthcare has always remained a problem due to some social problems faced by Adivasis.

The main problems faced are:

-Deficiencies of essential components which leads to Malnutrition.
-Water borne and communicable diseases, gastrointestinal disorders like dysentery, parasitic infections leading to marked morbidity. Malaria and tuberculosis are still big problems in several areas. Viral and venereal diseases need an in depth study.
-High prevalence of genetic disorders mostly involving RBCs like sickle cell anemia and different forms of Thalassemia.
-Excessive consumption of alcohol brewed from Mahua flowers and fruits.
-Superstitions related to health problems
-Extreme poverty.

For any development, social, economic, educational or spiritual, first and foremost essential factor is health or physical development. Judging this, Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram, Maharashtra unit has floated Gram Aarogya Rakshak Yojana since 1995.
At present, the project is being conducted in 10 districts of the state.

The Primary goals of the project are:
-providing free medical help through well trained Health Guards, to every ailing Vanavasi in the hamlet.

-This project also helps for creating health awareness among the Vanavasi brethren, survey of health issues faced by the locality, identify critical cases and admit them in the hospital, cultivation of medicinal herbs and compilation of the information of herbal medicines, providing localized treatment and thereby protecting the vanavasis from extravagant expenditure on transportation and hospitalization, protecting gullible, illiterate vanavasis from the quacks.

-Maintaining follow up on dangerous diseases like Tuberculosis and Leprosy, helping government agencies and voluntary organizations in tackling health problems, making Vanavasi brothers aware of preventive measures for maintenance of individual and societal health.

-Apart from these primary goals, there are some allied objectives like, creating social awareness for resolving several other issues before the locality, organizing socially youth, encouraging various Vanavasi community (especially women) for achieving financial stability through formation of self help groups and overall development of the society

Criteria for the selection of Health Guards:

1.There person should be literate.
2.He should have cordial relations with the residents of the hamlet.
3.He should have an urge and experience of social work.
4.He should be, preferably between 17 yrs to 40 yrs.
5.Women are given preference as a Health Guard.

Criteria for the selection of Hamlets:
1.Hamlets/ villages in remote and inaccessible areas,
2.Hamlets/ villages lacking in medical facilities,
3.Hamlets/ villages with rampant health problems in spite of availability of government medical help,
4.Hamlets/ villages which are demanding for medical help.
5.The places convenient for maintaining a communication between 4 to 5 hamlets in remote areas.

Structure and working:
1.Health Guard renders medical help for 300/ 400 persons (60 to 100 homes)
2.Group leaders are experienced persons supervising 8 to 12 health guards.
3.Tehsil leaders are the persons supervising a tehsil or a developmental sector.
4.District leader are supervising the activities in a district.

Village health guard:
Gathers all the members of a village, once in a month and makes them aware of health issues. He also makes efforts for resolving any other issues faced by the society. For this he gets essential help and assistance from seniors and others.

Group leaders:
Convene monthly meetings of Health Guards in their groups and add to their knowledge about health problems, distribute monthly quota of medicines, compile the details of beneficiaries and medical and other allied projects or schemes being conducted.

Training:
1.All the Health Guards are collected once a year at the district place and given training about 10 to 15 subjects in one or one and half day.
2.Group leaders are gathered twice a year and are given training for 3 to 5 days.
3.District / Tehsil Leaders are also trained twice a year for 5 days each.
4.After the training, certificates are issued to all and they have to give an undertaking to abide by the rules.

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