UPDATE NOVEMBER 2006
Dear friends, namaskar.
After the inauguration beginning of last month of the first section of the new clinic building, we’ve been busy with following up the various contacts we made with the people who came for the event from govt. offices and local NGOs. Most important amongst these the M.P. of Bokaro region, who verbally promised to fund the completion of the ground floor. Now the paper work with his office staff is in process to put his commitment into action. We’ve been told that the funding has been officially sanctioned and that we can expect the start of the actual construction work about one and a half months from now.
No further construction work has been in process since the inauguration, but gardening and landscaping have continued. More decorative flower plants have been added in the front area, amongst them 10 rose plants and 20 marigold plants. There are several new plants in the herbal garden and the borders between the individual plots have been improved. Also some more vegetable varieties have been added to the vegetable garden (gourd, spinach, coriander and other greens). The access pathway to the old clinic building, which is now in use for storage rooms and visitors’ accommodation, has been levelled.
Over the past few weeks we could not gather many villagers for our village education programmes, as most of them are currently busy every day with harvesting in the fields. We’ve therefore been concentrating on continuing the disinfecting of their drinking water wells with bleaching powder (a simple and cheap method which they can learn from us and continue themselves) and spraying stagnant water in the village area with diluted phenyl against mosquitoes. In Kashijharia village, less than a kilometer from the clinic, 8 wells were cleaned. In Bajudihi village, 4 kilometers away, 12 wells were cleaned.
The second youth meeting from the surrounding villages took place middle of October, to be continued on a monthly basis at our clinic. About a third of the approx. 40 participants were from the youth club of nearby Kashijharia village. We discussed with them how in joint programmes we can further develop their village. As a first result, several of them participated in the well cleaning programme which was done there in the following week. As they also talked about many of their cows being affected by a very contagious infectious disease, we contacted a veterinary doctor, who has told us that he can treat the animals easily and cheaply.
Presently we have one employed young man and 4 volunteers from the surrounding villages (2 young men, 2 young women) working as assistant staff. So that they can develop more knowledge and skills and later become village health workers, we’ve started an informal but regular and systematic free training programme for them, with several classes per week in the basic knowledge of patient management, acupuncture, nutritional science and English. In the coming months the schedule and syllabus will gradually be expanded. We’ve also invited the youth from the youth meetings to participate in the training sessions. Three of them already announced that they will join the classes from next week.
Unfortunately we had to terminate the employment of our homeopath, as since many months he was showing increasingly lacking cooperation with our system of patient management, medicine prescribing as well as supervision of assistant staff. He also turned out to be very money-minded. We’ve been very lucky that within a week after releasing him we’ve been able to hire another good homeopath who comes from a village of this region and who has a reputation for being very honest and trustworthy. As one of our assistant staff knows him since many years, we could get reliable information about him. He’s on probation now since one week, but we’re already quite happy with him.
Another newcomer to our medical staff is a young and very service minded dentist from nearby Bokaro city, who is giving voluntary treatment to the villagers on a bi-weekly basis. He also has a progressive approach to dental treatment, e.g. he prescribes antibiotics only if really necessary, unlike most other dentists, and alternately educates his patients about nutrition and lifestyle to strengthen their body.
That’s the news for now. Thanks to all for your ongoing interest and support!