How do we address the health gap? India has many areas in which it can focus public health efforts. According to UNICEF, the global average for stunted growth in children under the age of 5 is 21%, versus India's rate of 38%. The global average for underweight children under the age of 5 is 6%, with India's rate being significantly higher at 21%. India has the highest incidence rate of Tuberculosis in the world, at 197 cases per 100,000 people while also having immunization coverage of 62% as compared to the global average of 84% (across key infectious diseases). Because healthcare spending only makes up 1-2% of the government’s GDP, it is in the hands of NGOs and private care providers to fill the gap.
MDJunior in India
MDJunior decided to to focus on the health gap in India and committed to working in a set of key rural areas.
Described as a “Life Changing Experience” by previous High School attendees - a team of 25 volunteers from US, Hong Kong and India comprising of high school/college students and mentors including medical professionals and a United Nations Director, spent a week serving the underprivileged communities of rural Vrindavan. Our program comprised of Medical Camps and Public Health Projects based on MDJunior's 3 pillars of Knowledge, Skills and Attitude.
Our team went to a remote village of ‘Tehra’ in the State of Uttar Pradesh India. The village has no source of portable drinking water nor any piped drainage/sewage system.
Our #GYSD2018 week wrapped with a visit to the United Nations - India for a special briefing on UN Youth Volunteering and how UNDP is improving the efficiency of India's Vaccination Systems by leveraging cutting edge technology.
Publiic Health Projects
MDJunior in partnership with our local NGO support JKP, the Village Head, School Principal and Social Worker identified 2 needy families in Tehra for our Public Health Projects. Over the week our team built 2 toilets / septic tanks and bathrooms in their homes. The families contributed in the projects by providing labor and support. That way they are empowered to share responsibility of the project. After all, our goal is to create sustainability and self-dependence.
More families in India have access to a mobile phone but not a toilet! India, the world’s second-largest country by population, has the highest number of people (732 million) without access to toilets. [Source - WHO/UNICEF Report] Families defecate in the open! Things get tougher for women in rural areas, due to societal norms and cultural superstitions. For #GYSD 2018, MDJunior successfully completed their Global Medical-Mentor Mission to rural Vrindavan, India in the state of Uttar Pradesh, where nearly 68% of population have no access to toilets.
We established medical camps at a School for Handicapped, in Vrindavan with 275 children of special needs (physical disabilities, mentally challenged, deaf/mute and children from low socioeconomic strata (rickshaw pullers, slum dwellers and homeless)). Our team distributed over 1000 lbs of medicines, hygiene and school supplies including backpacks, pencils, coloring books, bath soaps, toothpastes, toothbrushes etc. We provided medical care for 500 children, staff, parents and local villagers. During the medical camps we conducted community health education sessions for feminine hygiene and general sanitary practices. In those sessions we distributed 400 packs of biodegradable sanitary napkins. We salute the Staff of this school for their unparalleled patience, dedication to duty and service.