VACCINATION CAMP AT HEAL
We come to India every year for our summer vacation. This year we wanted to do something for the needy instead of spending our time enjoying with our family and having fun. To do this voluntary work we needed some kind of base, i.e. an orphanage, old age home, schools for the disabled, etc.
Srikirti then came into contact with Dr. Satya Prasad, a U.K. based doctor – the founder of HEAL (Health and Education for All). Hence we came together as a group of five, consisting of – Srikirti (As level), Prathyusha (A2), Komal (10th grade in U.S.), Abhishikth (6th grade U.K.) and Monica (B. Pharmacy 1st year Madras).
Initially we thought of volunteering in HEAL for two weeks, i.e. helping the children and management there in their day to day activities. Then as we thought about the idea, we felt that instead of lending a temporary helping hand for two weeks we wished to make a lasting impression that would help the orphans’ lives on a long-term basis.
Whilst in a train to Imperial College London, Prathyusha who does a lot of fund raising activities had the idea of raising funds for a vaccination camp for the orphans.
The five decided to implement this idea. Pratyusha and Komal went to a vaccination camp in Tadepalli Goodem (in India), which gave them an insight as to how these camps are run. Prathyusha’s mother, Dr. Madhavi a U.K. based paediatrician suggested that we give MMR vaccination to all HEAL children. The advantage of this vaccination is:
• it is a preventive measure for three deadly diseases – Measles, Mumps and Rubella
• it can be given to all age groups
• Rubella vaccine is especially important to females at the time of pregnancy as it will protect their offsprings from deformities.
To fund this project we had to raise some money. We then made an estimation of Rs.20000 which would cover the costs of vaccinations for 183 orphans. Instead of asking our parents and relatives for financial help we felt it would be a new experience if we put our effort to raise that money ourselves. Within a week we managed to collect Rs. 4000 more than our initial target making a grand total of Rs. 24000. The fundraising activity was an extraordinary experience of its own. While collecting we met people with different views towards fund raising. We were surprised when a student emptied his wallet and were startled when an auto driver had something to offer.
Then we went to HEAL to have a look and plan every thing for the camp. We were very much impressed by the hospitality we received from Mrs. Marudvathi, the headmistress of Chetana and her team. Then our ideas started to evolve. We decided to make a health database for the orphans, as this would be very useful for records and future use.
Instead of just giving the vaccination we felt that it would be useful to educate the children in HEAL and Sri Venkateswara Balakuteer about vaccinations and MMR. So we gave a Power point presentation talking about the uses of vaccinations and the risks. We planned to have the vaccination camp on Thursday 10th of August from 9a.m to 1p.m with a team of doctors lead by Dr. Madhavi, Dr. Nagesh (parents of Prathyusha and Abhishikth), Dr. Shiva Prasad (from Katuri medical college), Dr. Srikanth, Dr. Vikram and nurses.
We give our sincere thanks to Ms. Manga Devi the director of HEAL for giving us this opportunity and Mrs K. Sita (mother of Srikirti) for doing the ground work.
Hope you’ve enjoyed reading this.