Monday, March 19, 2001,
Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


UNICEF-aided RCH project inaugurated
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, March 18
Dr Maheshwari, president of Charity Medical Trust, invited 12 NGOs comprising of doctors and volunteers to the inauguration of the UNICEF-aided Reproductive and Child Health project, which included a training programme. The meeting was addressed by Dr K. Suresh, Project Director of UNICEF and Dr Jassi, retd Director, Health Services and presently, consultant, UNICEF, Punjab.

Dr K.Suresh advised the eight NGOs present to observe some basic principles before taking up their projects. All the eight teams had identified the slum areas that they are going to adopt under RCH project of UNICEF. The first principle was to have a common understanding of the problems of the slums they had chosen.

The slums dwellers had to be mobilised and this could be done through many ways. The volunteers would be trained for seven days after every 15 days for six months. These volunteers would have to motivate people for the health care and sometimes fear as a strategy. The women have to be told that if they have children too often, it could lead to cancer of cervix. Similarly, smoking can cause lung cancer. The other way is to give incentives in cash or kind, but the limitation is that incentive is equated with monetary value and expectations increase.

The volunteers should do analysis of the area and its problems, e.g. if the problem was diarrhoea, before telling them the remedy, the volunteers should ask how they were treating this disease. If home remedies were good, then they should be encouraged to continue. If the remedies followed by them were not beneficial, then the volunteers should step in and teach them the latest way of treating it. The volunteers’ job was to provide correct knowledge and help them to listen, learn and act.

The slum dwellers should be taught family-level management of the illness of the child, as a child cannot do anything himself. The family should also be told about vaccinations. Guides should also stress on the role of exercise and also give emphasis to spiritual health.

Every person in the family should be told to have their own time in which they can do things of their own choice as it would add zest to their life. It was the job of the volunteer to diagnose the disease early and start treatment. Dr Suresh further told NGOs that they should also contribute towards providing free treatment or free medicines as they have partnership with UNICEF.

He further said that a survey of the slums adopted by the NGOs would be taken up after a year and if found to be wanting then the aid will be withdrawn. Special emphasis has to be given to the health of mother and child.

They were given a booklet on some important topics like delivery at home, anaemia and the groups were asked to choose any of the topics and pursue them. 


Conference of National Neonatology Forum
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 18
The Department of Pediatrics, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital organised the V1th Annual Conference of National Neonatology Forum, Punjab, at the Dumra Auditorium here today. Over 200 delegates from different parts of the state discussed methods to improve the care of the newborn.

Mr Prem Nath Gupta, secretary, Managing Society, DMCH, inaugurated the conference. Dr Daljit Singh, Dean and Chief of the Pediatrics department, in his lecture said that neonatal problems were increasingly recognised and referred from various parts of the region and with the availability of Neonatal Intensive Care facilities and hospital nursery at DMCH, which had ventilatory support, apnea monitors, infusion pumps, sophisticated monitoring devices and other supportive measures, the outcome of critically ill babies had improved considerably.

Dr B.K. Jain, Reader in Pediatrics department and the organising secretary read the activities of the forum. He said that various awareness programmes like breast feeding weeks and newborn week were celebrated by conducting a number of meetings and public contact programmes. Dr Harmesh Singh Bains, who took over as the president of State Branch of NNF, in his address stressed upon better coordination and involvement of pediatricians with obstetricians and better transport facilities for sick babies.

Dr Jogesh Chatwal, the outgoing president, said that newborn mortality rate was high at international level and in India out of every 100 new born children, 4-5 children die during the birth.

Among others who attended the conference include, Dr Sandeep Puri, Dr S.C.Ahuja, Dr Puneet Pooni, Dr Praveen Sobti, Dr Anil Narang, Dr Betty Chakoo, Dr Kala Vashishtha, Dr Neelam Klair and Dr Rama S.Ramji.

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