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Volunteering for Healthcare in vacation

How to spend Summer vacation –

For most students, summer is a time to turn off their brains, sleep in and take it easy. With the stress of exams getting over, it’s almost time to start planning for summer vacation. After months of studying hard for your boards, which are crucial for your career path, you definitely need a break from all those heavy course books. It is normal to be excited as well as nervous for your results, but why spend your two months of holiday pondering over something which would only contribute to making you feel restless?

After slogging hard for months on end with endless sleepless nights, all you need after your board exams is time to relax, quality time with friends and family, space to analyse your future plans and most importantly, some time for your own self.

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Some opt for vacationing out of city or country, some for vacation jobs in their field for more knowledge, some for pocket money while some just wants to kill time till new academic year starts. One of the good suggestion is to do some kind of social work towards society which will not only give insights towards life of people but it will also teach you various lessons which will help during your journey of  life.

A couple of days into that much-anticipated break, we stop enjoying being at a loose end and start getting bored. Here are a few things to keep the boredom at bay.

  1. Day trip to a beach
  2. Throw a house party
  3. Get ready for paddling into pool, SPA
  4. Go to a festivals
  5. Go on a holiday – Visit nature ( Fulfill travel desire )
  6. Get Energetic – Join Swimming, Gym, Hiking n Trekking, Zumba
  7. Join a hobby class – ( On-line, Distance learning )
  8. Learn a new Skill – Public Speaking, Self-defense …
  9. Get a Job to learn and meet people, Internship
  10. Prepare for Competitive Exams
  11. Catching up with unseen movies and series
  12. Take a good break from the studies
  13. Reading and Writing for pleasure, Improve your writing Skills
  14. Visiting unexplored places
  15. Join NGO
  16. Counseling
  17. Do Social Work
  18. Volunteering in rural India

So don’t feel overwhelmed. Instead, develop a realistic plan. (To do this, use the planning worksheet). As you follow your plan, then you’ll have a meaningful, productive, and fun-filled holidays!

 

Coming out of their comfort zones to help the needy and knowing more about the neighborhood is what defines the coming summer holidays all of you. With schools, colleges  and NGOs encouraging such behavior and calling for volunteers to assist them at social work, students have discovered new interests in spending time with under-privileged kids and medical assistance at rural level who may require a helping hand.

There is a developing idea that is catching hold called “Voluntourism” or “Tourcations,”  “Ethical Holidays,” “Travel Philanthropy,” aligned with the concept of “sustainable tourism.”  Voluntourism is basically the combination of travel with volunteering.   Individuals and families are choosing Voluntourism to: meet new people, learn new skills, grow as a person, immerse themselves in a culture, help a cause that inspires them, and it meets the needs of busy people who wish to travel and volunteer.

Volunteering overseas is, without a doubt, one of the top experiences anyone could hope to undertake in their lifetime. Even a short-term volunteer adventure can change your life and world perspective. Few things can give you a greater sense of meaning and a greater understanding of a culture.

                                                                            

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Another and best way of spending vacation for a cause is to go to rural villages after getting basic training from medical Colleges, NGO’s and serving people educating them about health and their health related rights  to change the health situation in tribal and rural India characterised by extreme poverty, with no access to the most basic health care.

But for undergraduate, graduate and medical students of all streams, this summer should be full of collecting information, analyzing data and collaborating on exciting research projects as part of Summer Student Research Program in their city or rural areas. Health education is must at rural level for which vacation volunteers can do by getting basic training about medication and schemes launched by government.

Now a days in most of the cities because of on-line app you get most of the health related facilities like ordering medicines, call a doctor, call an ambulance, Yoga instructor, Physiotherapist, Nurse, getting second opinion about surgery  and so on related to health sitting at home. Likewise information related to any diseases is available on click of a mouse.

The health of people in tribal and rural India is in a precarious situation. The traditional systems of medicine are in decline due to different economic and cultural reasons. But modern medicine as it is being practiced is not meeting the health needs of the rural population, especially those from the economically and socially backwards sections. This is largely because of high cost and inaccessibility of services. The high cost of this kind of health care, as well as the loss of wages during the period of illness pushes these people into a grim cycle of debt, bondage, and deepening poverty.

Unfortunately in rural India conditions are worst since almost 60% or more don’t have medical facilities within  20 kilometers so they have to travel even under emergencies since there is no other option but to travel, at times even transport is not available. Many NGO’s are working in rural India as Self Health Organization ( SHO ), Primary Health Care, Community Health Care,  who are voluntarily helping villagers in terms of imparting knowledge about health related issues, educating women about problems related to their health, nutrition related issues amongst kids, various kinds of diseases with elderly people Etc.

Due to lack of medication  and ignorance about health related issues rural India has high infant mortality rate, Neonatal mortality rate, maternal mortality rate, and child mortality rate. Government of India, Health Department has launched many schemes / benefits for rural population to take care of all health related issues but because of lack of awareness, knowledge and because of middle men for their own interests are not reaching to population at large.

During vacation those who want to do some kind of social activity ( volunteering as intern or as assistant in medical centers ) can take some basic training about healthcare, rights of rural population, awareness about government schemes and their benefits and stay in area selected during vacation. Create awareness, impart  knowledge and give basic training during your stay so that rural people in villages are benefited.

 

“He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything”

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As you can see from above chart that Healthcare penetration in rural areas  is significantly lower than in urban areas. Lot of man power is required to serve rural areas so during vacation if you desire to give your services then there are many NGOs ( list provided in last section ) who can train you and then you can go in the field to give primary / basic education about healthcare or you can be a trainer as well.

The need of the hour is thus a two pronged approach – first to bring quality healthcare services to doorsteps of the needy and second to promote healthcare awareness and contemporary healthcare seeking behavior among the underprivileged.

You can volunteer for objectives like :-

To address the inequality in rural health care with an equal focus on preventive measures and health education.

Functions at  Anganwadi where children are educated about health, referral services, Non-formal education of children, Supplementary nutrition, Family Planning, Immunization Etc.,

To evolve low-cost technology for providing appropriate, rational and inexpensive healthcare facilities.

To provide accessible, affordable, acceptable, quality-oriented, sustainable and credible services.

Design technologies after understanding the people’s health as well as local conditions ( climate ), requirements, limitations, illiteracy levels, accessibility, etc.

Introduce adaptable and diagnostic technologies to health workers, clinical, community level and public health services.

Develop products for the grassroots users and community health workers as well as for general public.

Those who wants to do research can prepare questionnaire for few villages, collect survey forms, collate data and suggest conclusions drawn for improvement of services in required areas with figures.

Specialised jobs for Female Assistants are :-

  • Supervise and guide the health workers in the delivery of health care services to the community
  • Carry out supervisory home visiting
  • Guide the health workers ( female ) in distribution of contraceptives to the couples
  • Respond to urgent calls from health workers and render necessary help
  • Educating adolescent girls and nursing mothers
  • Provide kits to  mothers for 3 months after delivery
  • Community health promotion and education
  • Participate in strengthening Integrated Child Development Services ( ICDS ) Programme
  • Improving maternal health through engaging family and community

Nine major health related activities are carried out by NGOs ( mentioned in NGOs details )  so you can select any one as per your liking and work with them during your vacation.

 

Volunteer working in rural area 

Click here for Details of various NGOs across India for Health Purpose

Functions of NGOs in Health System

The primary focus of NGOs in the health sector are:

  1. Establishing healthcare institutions
  2. Fulfilling health and social needs of groups like women, elderly and vulnerable local communities
  3. Dealing with specific health issues such as alcoholism
  4. Promoting health rights
  5. Performing preventive health programs
  6. Managing health finance and administration.
    Some NGOs operate internationally and are concerned with global health issues. Some NGOs in
    India also play an important role in providing health care at the times of emergencies and natural
    disasters.

Details of NGOs health activities :

1. Medical education
2. Hospital services
3. Rehabilitative clinic
4. Outpatient clinic
5. Ancillary services like lab/image tests
6. Nonclinical medical support like health system management/financing
7. Health insurances for targeted population
8. Outreach activities for preventive and public health care
9. Engagement in medical research.

 

Jan Swasthya Sahyog : Location – Bilaspur, Chattisgarh

Website : jssbilaspur.org

Overview : Ganiyari outpatient clinic with 70 beds and with operation theatres, catering to 2,000 villages of Bilaspur and other neighbouring districts. A Village Health Programme, which provides preventive and curative services with the help of 110 village health workers (VHWs) in 54 tribal and forest-related villages of Bilaspur district. Other activities include rural creches, research, Technical training and resource activities.

Nature of volunteering opportunities 

If you wanted a career with them, you should know that Jan Swasthya Sahyog ( JSS )  offers a three-year Diplomate National Board in Family Medicine course, which is recognised by the National Board of Examinations (NBE). Medical residents are trained in general and emergency aspects of medicine, surgery, paediatrics, and obstetrics & gynaecology.

They are also taught about the intersection of illness and poverty, and they regularly engage in community health projects that seek to address some of the underlying issues of ill health. This has helped in community involvement and empowering the young.

Contact : janswasthya@gmail.com

 

Root Institute : Location: Bodhgaya, Bihar

Website: http://www.rootinstitute.com

Overview: Root Institute is a socially inclined Buddhist meditation & study centre in Bodhgaya, Bihar. Besides meditation & philosophy courses, the institute runs health programs on-site and in remote rural villages of Bihar, with an emphasis on health promotion, enabling people to care for their own health, health education, and integrated health and development at the village level.

Nature of volunteering opportunities
–       Spiritual volunteers to assist with daily meditations, run short workshops, and offer general help with the spiritual program.
–       Health program volunteers to assist with program coordination and nursing.
–       Physiotherapy / Occupational therapy volunteers.

Contact: Volunteer application: www.rootinstitute.com/about/volunteerform.htm

 

Mothers Hope : Location: Dimapur, Nagaland

Website: www.mothershope.in

Overview: Mother’s Hope is a residential home for pregnant mothers and babies. Mother’s Hope provides care to pregnant girls undergoing crisis pregnancies, victims of sexual abuse, and infants needing a permanent home. They offer free counseling, a residential home for women to stay during pregnancy and receive new skill training, free health-care and psychological support to girls undergoing crisis pregnancies, and a residential home for newborn babies till they are adopted into loving families.

Nature of volunteering opportunities
–       Awareness & advocacy volunteers.
–       Volunteers for counseling & baby care home.

Contact: mothershope@rediffmail.com

 

Sadhana Village : Location: Pune, Maharashtra

Website: sadhana-village.org/

Overview: residential & educational care of disabled children, self help groups, empowerment of rural women

Nature of volunteering opportunity:
–       teaching
–       assistance in care
–       working with SHGs

Contact: adm@sadhana-village.org sadhanavill@gmail.com

 

Children Walking Tall : Location: Mapusa, Goa, India.

Website: http://www.childrenwalkingtall.com/

Overview:
–       provides food
–       medical assistance and educational support to local children

Minimum period of commitment: Minimum 2 Weeks

Nature of volunteering opportunity:
–       preparing activities
–       giving out food
–       teaching
–       cleaning
–       sorting
–       taking care of small medical needs for the children.

Contact: childrenwalkingtall@hotmail.com

List of NGOs having different activities / Interest

AASHARA BAHUUDDESHIYA TRUST www.aashara Bahuuddeshiya Trust.com
SAMYAK BAHUUDDESHIYA SAMAJIK VIKAS SANSTHA www.sbsvs.com
Jai jijau mahila sabalikaran sanstha www.karmayog.org
The Naz Foundation (India) Trust www.nazindia.org
Help Youth Foundation www.helpyouthfoundation.org
GHASWALA VISION FOUNDATION www.ghaswalafoundation.org
VA. SA.VYA. MAHILA MANDALI (Vastavikata, Sanghadrusti, Vyaktitvam) www.vasavya.org

Service to man is service to God

What you give in charities, comes back to you multiplied many times over

When you help others, you help yourself the most, because God grants you peace and happiness

 

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