In between all the festivals some work is happening too 🙂 I’ll be helping with two projects:
- The home-based newborn care program: this one I described a little in the last post, it basically uses Community Health Workers to deliver care to mothers and newborns in their homes. Since this approach worked so well in Search’s pilot stages, and across the state of Maharashtra, the government of India is trying to roll it out across the whole country! I’ll be making some brochures, websites and videos summarizing the components and challenges of the program to help a typical district-level health officer implement it in their districts.
- Malaria program: Search has a malaria program targeting the nearby tribal villages. The program is already up and running but I’m going to review it and see if there are areas that can be improved. The idea that’s really catching my interest so far is the issue that the highest number of malaria cases here occur in the winter months (November-January), after the monsoons. Those are also the months when families are least likely to use a bed net: since the weather gets cold, people prefer to sleep outside near a fire, and bed nets are hung up inside the house. Nets can theoretically be hung up outside too, but you’d need to be near a tree, and animals like chickens walking around can potentially tear the net, etc. But these don’t seem like impossible barriers to overcome, so I thought it would be cool to host a “design competition” and have the existing teams of youth in the villages design an outdoor net set-up that is made of common materials. Not sure if this specific project will pan out, but who knows!
Some of Search’s other areas of work include:
- De-addiction programs for tobacco and alcohol- both of these substances are widely abused in this area, with the latter especially contributing to domestic violence, wasted income, etc. Tobacco addiction often begins at a young age, since some forms are used to clean teeth! (Ironic, huh?)
- Mental health services: Outside of India’s big cities, mental health services are virtually non-existent in rural areas. Many mental health conditions are either unrecognized as such or have a huge stigma attached to them. Fortunately the hospital at Search offers psychological and counseling services, and can prescribe medications if needed.
- Youth empowerment: older youth get trained in building capacity in their home communities.
- And more! Click here for Search’s website if you want to read more.